NEWARK, N.J. - Monday afternoon, before the 76ers faced the New Jersey Nets, the NBA fined Sixers coach Doug Collins $15,000 for verbal abuse of an official after Saturday's impressive 109-106 overtime win against the streaking Indiana Pacers.
The object of Collins' ire appeared to be referee Zach Zarba. There was some contact down the stretch that Collins didn't care for, especially an apparent karate-chop swipe at Jrue Holiday that was not called.
After the win, Collins was seen directing some choice words toward the officials.
"I don't ever want to get fined. I've been in the NBA for 40 years," Collins said Monday. "It was sort of a buildup over a few things; it wasn't one thing. . . . It was an emotional game, and we were able to win. . . . I didn't leave the court in a timely fashion and I should have been fined. The league did what they should have done and I apologized."
The buildup probably wasn't just from the lack of calls that Collins was looking for down the stretch Saturday. On Feb. 19 in Minnesota, Zarba called a reach-in foul on Andre Iguodala with one-tenth of a second remaining and the Sixers leading, 91-90. Zarba claimed Iguodala had fouled Kevin Love while the forward was driving to the lane after an inbounds pass. Replays and still photos appeared to show Iguodala grabbing just the ball. After that game, Collins also threw some verbal lobs toward Zarba.
The Nets played their final home game in New Jersey on Monday night before a move across the river into a new arena in Brooklyn next season. Like many, Collins doesn't have particularly great memories of playing in North Jersey.
"We played at Rutgers - that floor was so hard," he said. "I remember busing up there and it was a college crowd. Julius [Erving] was such a fan favorite. We had a lot of ABA guys - Caldwell [Jones], George [McGinnis], Bobby Jones, we had Julius - they were very popular."