League offcials send a strong message for underhanded tactics.
Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Thursday for deliberately spilling a cup of soda on the court as a delaying tactic to halt a game.
The move came in the last seconds of a 99-94 home loss Wednesday to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kidd denied that the spill was intentional but television replays show Kidd saying “Hit me” to Tyshawn Taylor as the Nets guard was walking toward him with 8.3 seconds remaining and Brooklyn out of timeouts.
Taylor bumped his coach and Kidd spilled the drink on the floor.
Intentional or not, the delay worked to Brooklyn’s benefit by giving Kidd time to draw up a final play in hopes of scoring. But the play did not work and the Nets lost.
Kidd was holding a cup of soda at the side of the court while Lakers guard Jodie Meeks was at the free throw line. After Meeks made their first shot to give the Lakers a 96-94 edge, Taylor walked toward Kidd and collided with his coach, who spilled the drink onto the court.
“Cup slipped out of my hand while I was getting Ty,” Kidd said. “Sweaty palms.”
“I was never good with the ball,” deadpanned Kidd, the NBA’s number two all-time steals and assist leader before retiring this year and taking the Nets coaching job.
“In the heat of the battle, you’re trying to get guys in and out of the game and the cup fell out of my hand.”
While arena workers cleaned the slick mess to make the surface safe for play, the Nets staff sorted out their next strategy, although not without two Laker players trying to sneak into the huddle to hear the plan.
Meeks made his second free throw after the delay, then Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce missed a potential equalizing 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining on the way to defeat.
Despite the video replays showing Kidd clearly mouthing his instructions, Taylor also denied the deliberate nature of the delay tactic.
“I wasn’t paying attention. I just kind of bumped him,” said Taylor. “I didn’t even know he was holding (anything). Coach was drinking a soda on the sideline. I was like, ‘What’s he doing?’
“It could ice a free throw shooter and be a timeout when you don’t have one, but that wasn’t the thought process. I was just coming out, and he was in my way.”
As a player with the Dallas Mavericks, Kidd famously bumped into Atlanta coach Mike Woodson while dribbling up the sideline, appearing to initiate the contact and then blame Woodson for blocking his way up the court.