ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Even on a day off, Dwight Howard can antagonize officials enough to draw a penalty.
The Orlando Magic center was fined $35,000 by the NBA on Wednesday for criticizing officials on his blog, the second time this season he's been penalized for posting such comments.
Howard was in chronic foul trouble and constantly complaining about officiating in the Magic's series sweep over Charlotte. He fouled out in the last two games, played only 105 minutes and committed 22 fouls in four games.
"I'm not looking to say anything to get myself in trouble with the league, but I just don't see other star players getting called for fouls the way I get them," Howard posted on his blog. "No star player in the league is outta games the way I am."
NBA commissioner David Stern has grown tired of all the griping and vowed to crack down on critical comments, challenging players and coaches last week to "make my day" by continuing to complain during the rest of the playoffs.
The Magic have thus far been the prime example.
Coach Stan Van Gundy and forward Matt Barnes were fined $35,000 each last week for criticizing officials and publicly questioning their calls on Howard. Orlando's All-Star center also was fined $15,000 in November for similar comments on his blog, although those were light compared to his latest post.
"I mean, it was almost comical at times how I was getting fouls called on me," Howard wrote. "There was nothing I could do (out) there and I felt like I couldn't even move without getting that whistle blown on me."
The Magic were off Tuesday and Wednesday. They will face the winner of the Atlanta-Milwaukee series in the second round.