Bam Adebayo Skillfully Avoids Fine, Criticizing Refs

2023 NBA Finals - Game One
2023 NBA Finals - Game One / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

The Miami Heat set an NBA Finals record last night by shooting a grand total of two free throws, which seems like an impossible feat and is the type of stat that tells you the other team most definitely won. Game 1 looked very much like it was being played between a group that battled through a seven-game war and one that's just been chilling and mentally preparing for the moment. That and the old make-or-miss league thing came out with Denver doing a lot more of the former and the visitors doing a lot more of the latter.

Point is, inequitable officiating did not decide the final outcome. But it is certainly notable that the Nuggets went 16-for-20 from the charity stripe and Haywood Highsmith went 2-for-2 while his teammates didn't even get a chance. So The Athletic's Joe Vardon asked about it postgame, making it clear that he was not trying to get Bam Adebayo fined.

This caused Highsmith, seated next to Adebayo, to crack up. Perhaps because it was the third time the pair was quizzed on the officiating during their availability.

"If I do say something, will you take the fine?" Adebayo asked, before providing a longer diplomatic answer that won't get him fined. Then he asked why the reporter doesn't get fined for setting him up like that.

Now that would be a story. Reporter dinged financially be NBA for just asking questions. It'd have a chilling effect and, honestly, probably delight a lot of people. Maybe when the series shifts back to Florida.