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The Sacramento Kings are having a rough go with clock operators this week.
The NBA announced on Thursday that it's fining the Kings $50,000 and assistant general manager Wes Wilcox an additional $15,000 after he approached the scorer's table during Sunday's 115-113 win over the Miami Heat.
Per the NBA, "Wilcox left his seat to confront operations personnel at the scorer’s table about their handling of a clock procedure during a jump ball." This appears to be the play that Wilcox took issue with:
Pretty sure this is the play Wes Wilcox was upset about. The shot clock doesn't start until possession, but it sure looked weird in the moment. pic.twitter.com/9jS7aACAyp
— Tony Xypteras (@TonyXypteras) January 7, 2022
Interim head coach Alvin Gentry was heated with the delayed start to the the shot clock after the Heat won the tip. So, apparently was Wilcox, and he let the scorer's table know about it at the next timeout.
NBA: Clock operator 'in fact' got it right
It's not clear exactly what Wilcox said, but the league hammered home in its news release that: “The clock procedure at issue was, in fact, administered correctly by the shot clock operator." The league apparently contends that Miami's Omer Yurtseven didn't actually possess the ball when he initially fumbled the tip.
Regardless, Wilcox is out $15,000. His salary's not public information, but that likely stings a bit more than your average five-figure player fine. The fine continues a comedy of clock errors that have plagued the Kings this week, most notably during Tuesday's 122-114 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Clock error prompts Gentry to lament 'dumbass rule'
With 24.8 seconds remaining and the Lakers leading 119-114, Lakers guard Malik Monk missed a free throw. Kings guard De'Aaron Fox let the rebound fall in front of him in an effort to preserve game time as every other player ran to the other side of the court.
The clock operator mistakenly started the clock, which isn't supposed to start until the ball is possessed. Fox correctly pointed that fact out, and game play stopped. Officials talked it out and correctly reset the game clock. They also called a jump ball because nobody took possession of the loose ball. The Lakers won the jump ball and the game.
Alvin Gentry is fired up after the refs call this play a jump ball 😠 pic.twitter.com/S38KD1qoCI
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 5, 2022
Gentry, again, was irate. The ball obviously would have belonged to Sacramento if not for the clock-operator error. But the rules didn't allow for officials to apply such common sense. Gentry let the NBA know in no uncertain terms how he felt after the game.
"It's a horses*** rule in the NBA," Gentry told reporters. "The referees did what they were supposed to do. It’s the rule that needs to be changed. We didn’t start the clock. It wasn’t our error. We got punished for a dumbass rule."
Oh no, not again
Which brings us to Wednesday. The Kings trailed late again, this time at home to the Atlanta Hawks. Fox, like he did against the Lakers, looked to preserve game time by delaying touching the ball, this time on an inbounds pass.
Guess what happened (see the second video below):
Yes, that's Gentry — irate once again — proclaiming his displeasure at a clock error for TV microphones to pick up. Here's hoping for his general well being that the Kings escape Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets without any clock issues.