Erik Spoelstra Fined $25,000 For Criticizing Refs

CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 15: Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts to a call as he leads the Heat against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 15 2011 in Chicago Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was critical of the officiating in the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Indiana Pacers. He's been fined by the NBA for his comments.

The Miami Heat managed to win their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Indiana Pacers, but not without having to go to the mat a few times. Following the clinching game, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra had plenty of disparaging comments for the officiating in the series. He has now been fined by the NBA for his comments.

From the official press release:

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has been fined $25,000 for critical public comments about how the Miami/Indiana playoff series was being officiated, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

Spoelstra's comments were made to the media following Miami's shootaround on Thursday, May 24.

The NBA had been especially strict on levying penalties against public disparaging of officials over the past few years. Spoelstra suggested that the officials were consistently letting hard fouls by the Pacers go without being called in the series. These are the comments that netted him the fine, courtesy of Brian Windhorst at ESPN.com:

"The league does not have a problem with hard fouls on our two main guys," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Thursday before taking on the Pacers in Game 6.

"In nine games now there's been over a dozen hard fouls to the face, some of the tomahawk variety, some have drawn blood. They don't have a problem with it, so we don't have a problem with it. We'll focus on what we can control."

Spoelstra's comments may further endear him to Heat fans, but it certainly isn't winning him any points with the league.

For more on the Miami Heat, check out Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. To stay up-to-date on the Indiana Pacers, head over to Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana. For complete coverage of the 2012 NBA playoffs, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

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