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Tim Graham's Power Take: Referees giving more to Popp, so Fiz called them out

Maybe someday Sabres players will get to a point where they'd feel compelled to pay their coach's $30,000 fine.

As opposed to reports swirling around our hockey club, Memphis Grizzlies players have pledged pay coach David Fizdale's punishment for -- justifiably and with panache -- ripping NBA referees new whistle holes.

"Take that for data!" Fizdale said before pushing away from the table and storming out of his news conference.

Fizdale tore into the lopsided number of fouls referees Danny Crawford, Rodney Mott and Bill Spooner called despite the Grizzlies' offense pounding the post and the San Antonio Spurs shooting from the perimeter.

The Grizzlies made 13 of their 15 free throws. Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard alone, meanwhile, was awarded 19 free throws. The Spurs made 31 of their 32 foul shots.

Fizdale and his players can't boast the cachet Gregg Popovich and San Antonio possess. Refs showed too much deference.

Fizdale, standing up for his team, figured he would pay a price. His appreciative players had other thoughts. Although $30,000 spread around 15 NBA players is like regular folks tossing quarters in a basket.

Still, worth it.

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