NBA Investigating After Rockets Owner Yelled at Ref

UPDATE: The NBA has fined Les Alexander $100,000 for the incident below.


Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander ambled from his courtside seat Tuesday night, made his way down the court, and yelled in the ear of referee Bill Kennedy.

Rockets fans also gave the officials an earful in Game 5 of their series-clinching victory against the OKC Thunder.

The NBA says it’s looking into the matter.


As Kennedy stood watching a play, Alexander got up from his seat next to the national television table. Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon tried to grab the owner’s arm, but he kept walking. Alexander stood behind Kennedy for less than five seconds before walking away. Kennedy did turn his head as Alexander reversed course.


Alexander, who is normally mild-mannered during games, declined to discuss much about the scene, only saying at halftime he “can’t talk about it” and that he was “upset, really upset.”


After the incident, NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued a statement saying that “an investigation is underway.”


The league also denied the media’s request to speak with the game officials through a pool reporter regarding the incident.