The NBA cares plenty about what Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau thinks, fining him $35,000 Sunday for his Friday postgame comments about officiating. Erik Spoelstra? Well the Miami Heat coach offered his own powerful retort to Thibodeau's claims of whistles and double-standards. "I don't care," Spoelstra said when the issue of Thibodeau's comments was broached after his team's Sunday practice at the University of Illinois-Chicago. "I don't spend a lot time thinking about what Tom is saying. I don't. "This game, this series, will be decided between those four lines, and no one can deny that." Thibodeau, of course, also accused Heat forward LeBron of flopping during the first-quarter incident in Friday's Game 3 that left Bulls center Nazr Mohammed ejected. "When you're comfortable with who you are as a player and as a person, nothing really bothers you," James said. "I don't need to flop. I play an aggressive game. I don't flop. I've never been one of those guys.'' Through it all, the Heat will take a 2-1 lead into Monday's Game 4 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. To Heat guard Dwyane Wade, the Bulls' chatter about liberties the Heat either are taking or getting away with is merely part of the playoff process. "It's old," he said. "Coaches do it all the time. You see it, when someone comes out and says it, you know what they're doing, and I think the NBA has done a great job now, when they feel that, of taking care of it." Whether the $35,000 sanction quiets Thibodeau on game nights is another issue. Sunday a Bulls spokesman said the Bulls coach declined comment on the fine. Spoelstra, who has been with the Heat dating to the team's contentious playoff series with the Knicks more than a decade ago, says what's old is new again. "We've seen everything," he said of the verbal gamesmanship. "None of this is new to us. Nobody can hide from the fact that the games will be decided between those four lines. And our guys understand that." Not only weren't the Heat cited once by the league for flopping during the regular season, but there has been no league notice of possible action against James for his tumble after his moment with Mohammed.
Spoelstra: I don't care what Thibodeau is saying
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 13