Pelicans exec fined $50K for criticism of officials in wake of Zion injury
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New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin has been fined $50,000 for "public criticism of officiating and comments detrimental to the NBA," the league announced Sunday.

Griffin denounced officials after Pelicans star Zion Williamson was sidelined indefinitely due to a fractured left ring finger on May 7, claiming the league's referees haven't done enough to protect the 20-year-old All-Star.

"I'm really frustrated because this was avoidable," Griffin told reporters. "We told the NBA through every means available to us, through sending in film, through speaking to everybody in the officials' department and everybody in basketball operations, that the way they were officiating Zion was going to get him injured.

"Quite frankly, he's injured now because of the open season there's been on Zion Williamson in the paint. He's been absolutely mauled in the paint on a regular basis, to the point that other players have said to him, 'I'm going to keep doing this to you because they don't call it.'"

Williamson appeared to have suffered the injury Tuesday versus the Golden State Warriors. He was forced to exit the contest in the third quarter for treatment before returning to the court.

Williamson's second season in the league is now likely over, with the former first overall pick averaging 27 points on 61.1% shooting, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists for the 30-37 Pelicans.

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Pelicans exec fined $50K for criticism of officials in wake of Zion injury
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