CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Bobcats guard Stephen Jackson became the latest target of the NBA's crackdown on behavior when he was fined $50,000 on Saturday for verbally abusing the referees after a loss to Detroit a night earlier.
A defiant Jackson called the punishment undeserved and is considering an appeal.
"Everybody should be shocked — $50,000?" Jackson said. "If you all saw what happened, $50,000, that's a lot of money. But welcome to the life of Stephen Jackson."
Jackson was hit with a technical foul by referee Steve Javie late in the third quarter Friday, complaining he was fouled on a made basket. The fine was for his actions after the Pistons finished off a 97-90 victory.
"After the game, he made inappropriate comments towards the game officials," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said, declining to give further details.
Jackson, though, said officials were "reading his lips," an account seconded by Charlotte coach Larry Brown.
"I walked off the court upset about the outcome of the game," Jackson said. "I guess they had a camera following me all the way to the tunnel and I wasn't even in sight of the referees and read my lips. I guess I can't talk to myself. I got fined for talking to myself."
The penalty comes as the NBA is cracking down on demonstrative actions by players — with Jackson providing an example of what the league wants changed.
Brown said Jackson flailing his arms was one of the first examples in a video distributed to teams before the season. Jackson has struggled with the new crackdown, getting called for two technical fouls in six games.
Jackson last season was called for 13 technical, tied for fifth-most in the NBA.
"People don't like when you speak your mind," Jackson said. "And they have the power to fine me or not fine me and they decided to. I can't do nothing but to live with it. But I'm going to continue to speak my mind."
Brown sided with his player after Saturday's 91-88 loss to Orlando, saying officials should show the same respect for the game that the league is demanding of players. Brown was also called for a technical foul on Friday.
"It blows me away. For me to say, 'Wow,' and a (referee) to go, 'I gotcha,' there is no recourse," Brown said. "They were lip-reading as he was walking 50-feet away. I just don't know."