Mike Brown still upset by non-call
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- After a few hours of sleep and a little time to cool off, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown still didn't like what he saw from Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin during Saturday's loss at Staples Center.
With 12.3 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Lakers rookie point guard Darius Morris drove from the left wing, drawing a foul on Chris Paul. After the whistle, Morris continued to the basket and rose up for a dunk, receiving contact in his midsection from Griffin, enough to send the reedy, 6-foot-4, 190-pounder to the floor. On the bench, Brown received a technical foul and had to be restrained by assistant coaches John Kuester and Chuck Person.
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Following the game, Brown called the play "dangerous." Sunday in El Segundo, Brown said he'd ask the league to examine the tape.
"That's a tough play. I'm just curious; I'd like to know the league's ruling on that after they watch it on tape, just to see so I have a better understanding," Brown said. "Because what I was told when it happened was, in a nutshell, it's okay to push a guy in the air as long as he doesn't get hurt, or it doesn't look like he's going to get hurt. So it's a judgment call. The whistle clearly had been blown ... you still think that you'd protect a guy's safety."
Brown made it clear he doesn't believe Griffin is a malicious player or intended to hurt Morris but was nonetheless disappointed in the non-call.
"I'm just talking about the general safety of anybody that's in the air after a play is called, and they get pushed -- and it was a push, you could see it on the tape -- and nothing was called? I wonder why," he said.
More than punishment for Griffin, Brown indicated he wanted clarification from the NBA.
"I picked up a technical foul because I thought there was a rule there. Apparently, it's not a rule from what I was told at the time. It's a judgment call by the official. So I just want to know after reviewing the play, was the judgment call correct," Brown said.
"I don't know what the appropriate response would be, I'm interested in what the response is."
The play in question was just one of many moments of chippiness during Saturday's game, which saw five individual technical fouls assessed -- four on the Lakers, one on the Clippers.
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Monday he was aware of Brown's plan to ask the league to examine the play.
"The whistle had already blown," Del Negro said. "There was no intent for anyone to hurt anybody there. We're going to protect our basket and when the whistle blows you're supposed to stop playing. I didn't think there was anything malicious there. I thought there were some other things in the game that have to be looked at as well."
Del Negro said he had no plans to notify the league of those "other things" and had yet to hear from the league about Griffin's play.
"I think it's just an intense game and it's going to be physical," Del Negro said. "You just don't want anything that's malicious. No one wants to see anybody get injured but you want your guys to playing hard and playing the right way."
Following the game, Brown said he apologized to his team at halftime for drawing the technical foul, allowing the Clippers to gain an extra point. Sunday, he reinforced that message.
"I'm not out there sweating and defending, and all that other stuff, and fighting through screens. I acted the way I did because I did think it was wrong, and I got a technical, and hopefully it brought some light to what happened. You hate giving up the point when those guys are out there fighting the way that they're fighting," he said.
"If it happened again, I'd probably do it again, but if I can help it I'd do it without giving up the point."
Brian Kamenetzky is a co-author of the Land O' Lakers blog.