Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich shared an awkward moment with referee Bill Kennedy last night.
With the Spurs up 12 with 5:09 left in the game, D’Antoni called for a full timeout but then wanted to switch it to a 20 second time out. Kennedy then approached D’Antoni with Popovich standing next to him and perhaps did not realize the mic on him was airing their conversation live on ESPN. He explained to the coaches that he couldn’t switch to a 20 second timeout because the game had turned to a TV timeout.
TV timeouts are a part of the game, but it’s atypical for a ref to admit to “stalling” a game for the commercials:
“OK, you called a full and you wanted a 20,” Kennedy said to D’Antoni. “You didn’t have one; you called it in the third quarter. TV went to a 20. They thought it was going to be a 20. So what I’m doing right now is, I’m stalling for commercial time. And I need your help. I can’t let your teams go to the huddle, you see what I’m saying?”
Footage of the conversation can be seen below: