Getting blown out by 33 points at home is bad enough, but the Knicks may also have to answer to the NBA, which is concerned about some poor sportsmanship on the Madison Square Garden scoreboard.
The league is likely to question MSG officials for highlighting the foul shot discrepancy between Kobe Bryant and the entire Knicks team on the video screen during the second half of Tuesday's 130-97 loss to the Lakers, according to a league official, who asked not to be named because no formal investigation has been launched yet.
But there was concern that the screen highlighted that Bryant was taking more foul shots than the entire Knicks team. The league considers that inappropriate material for a scoreboard because it places focus on the referees and can stir up fans against them.
The league is also still reviewing Larry Brown's actions after the coach was ejected for going onto the floor and accosting referee Steve Javie, who walked away from him. Brown will be fined for the ejection, but could also incur an additional fine for not leaving the court in a timely manner.
Brown didn't speak to reporters after the game Tuesday, but yesterday he accepted his fate calmly.
"I don't want to get into that," he said. "I didn't curse him. I hadn't talked to him the whole game. Obviously, he thought I went over the line. That's his prerogative. ... My frustration is I thought there was something wrong out there and I said it. Now it's over. I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to say anything the way I felt after that game."
Bryant took 26 foul shots and made 23 of them on his way to a 40-point evening. He had only seven field goals, the fewest ever for a player scoring 40 points. The Knicks took only 24 foul shots. But yesterday Brown didn't blame the officials for the differential, and complimented Bryant for being aggressive and getting to the line, something the coach urges his players to do.
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