The Brooklyn Nets are being fined $25,000 after assistant coach David Vanterpool interfered with a pass in a matchup against the Washington Wizards, the NBA announced. Vanterpool was fined $10,000.
With 5:45 left in the fourth quarter in Wednesday night’s game, Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie tossed a short pass toward teammate and power forward Kyle Kuzma. That’s when Vanterpool, standing by the Nets’ bench, reached his own hand into the mix, deflecting the ball.
As the Nets led the Wizards by six points, the deflection resulted in a turnover. The Nets went on to edge out the Wizards, 119-118.
Per the NBA rulebook, if an opponent sitting on the bench or standing on the sidelines interferes with the ball, the ball should be awarded to the “offended team out-of-bounds nearest the spot of the violation.”
But referees didn’t see the interference, crew chief Ben Taylor told reporters after the game.
Joe Blair, Wizards acting head coach, said he was in “utter disbelief.”
“I’ve never seen, in my very long time in basketball, something happen like that that the referees didn’t see,” Blair said.
The Wizards couldn’t challenge the play because they had already used their coach’s challenge, which allows the head coach to trigger an instant replay and a review of the play.
Kuzma called the interference “horesh***,” adding that coaches should not be able to stand up with so much time left on the clock.
“It’s very unfortunate,” he said. “But you’ve just got to live with it.”
The Nets did not immediately respond to request for comment from NPR.