|Derrick Rose was fined for criticizing NBA referees. (Getty Images)|
The NBA goes to extreme lengths to protect its referees from public criticism, and that approach involved swiftly fining Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose $25,000 on Tuesday.
The league announced the fine on its official Twitter account.
CBSSports.com's Royce Young noted that Rose had some pointed words for the referees following a 104-99 win over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
"I've got to be the only superstar in the league that's going through what I going through right now," he said, referring to his lack of free-throw attempts. "But I can't say too much about it. How many times did I shoot today? And I'm the point guard," he said, before discussing his strategy to combat the problem.Rose took nine foul shots against the Knicks on Monday. For the season, he gets to the foul line 6.3 times per game, good enough to rank him No. 13 among all players in the NBA and third among point guards behind John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Rodney Stuckey of the Detroit Pistons.
"Keep going hard and make them call it. Keep driving. Just try to put pressure on them. If anything, I was worried about my turnovers. I could care less right now [about being fined by the NBA for his comments], the Englewood native continued. I want to continue to play the way I know how to play. I came in this league a driver. Nothing has changed. I'll continue to play hard and try to win."
Rose, 23, is averaging 22.8 points, 8.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Bulls this season. Chicago currently holds the NBA's best record, at 35-9.
Rose's 2011-2012 salary is roughly $7 million.