Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has been hit with a $35,000 fine for his expletive on Saturday talking about Washington Wizards veteran Paul Pierce.
Ujiri responds to Paul Pierce: (Video) This could, and now has, landed him in trouble.
Ujiri ready to drop another expletive: GM is passionate about his team.
Ujiri discusses Pierce’s “it” comment: DeRozan equally unimpressed.
The Raptors were also fined $25,000 by the NBA as Ujiri attempted to fire up the fans outside the Air Canada Centre on Sunday ahead of Game 1 of their opening round playoff series with the Wizards.
Pierce caused anger in the Toronto camp last week when he insisted that the team didn’t have “it” to make him worried about facing them in the post-season.
While he later clarified his comments and revealed that he meant that they don’t have a superstar on their team to carry them when needed, the Raptors were annoyed by it and were arguably distracted on Saturday.
“People want me to say something about Paul Pierce, but we don’t give a s— about ‘it,'” Ujiri said to fans.
The wily veteran played a key role in the win and seemingly played the game perfectly as he drew most of the ire of the home crowd which in turn took the attention off the younger players on the team.
However, the Raptors will be desperate to tie the series in Game 2 before it switches to Washington later in the week as Ujiri has now apologised for his outburst and will probably be avoiding a repeat performance any time soon.
“I have the deepest respect for Commissioner [Adam] Silver and the NBA, and while showing passion for our team and fans I will choose my words more carefully in the future so as not to indicate otherwise,” Ujiri said, ESPN reported.
Point guard Greivis Vasquez moved to re-focus the Raptors after their loss and insisted that they need to stop talking about Pierce and avoid allowing him making this series about him and not the Wizards.