Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has been fined $25,000 for “making incidental contact” with a referee during his team’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, the league announced Monday.
Budenholzer was ejected for a technical foul with over six minutes remaining in the second quarter after bumping into an official.
The Hawks coach and president of basketball operations released a statement on Monday apologizing for his actions.
“With the league’s permission, I have reached out to and apologized to Ben Taylor for what happened in the game versus Cleveland. Ben is an excellent young referee who is a valuable member of the NBA family,” Budenholzer said. “We all understand that any contact—including incidental contact—with an official is unacceptable. I accept the NBA’s fine and look forward to putting this situation in the past.”
The coach was visibly upset on Saturday after no call was made when guard Justin Holiday was hit in the face. Budenholzer then approached one of the referees, taking a few steps onto the court causing a small collision.
“I was very close to him. That seems like that could be the reason why he threw me out after just a single technical. If there was any contact, it would be totally unintentional,” Budenholzer said after the game.
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Typically, contact with an official results in suspension, but due to the small nature of the occurrence, Budenholzer was not punished beyond the fine.
- Xandria James