Watch: Nets coach Kenny Atkinson restrained from confronting referee

That major NBA initiative announced Friday aiming to ease tensions between players and referees had better work on smoothing over some issues with coaches, too.

Nets’ coach Kenny Atkinson had to be restrained by Nets players and assistant coaches in the fourth quarter of the team’s 111-97 loss to Timberwolves Saturday night.

But since Dec. 20, 2014, San Jose has been blanked twice and outscored 16-3 in its home regular-season matchups. St. Louis, though, begins the California portion of a crucial road trip looking to avoid their ninth loss in 10 games.

That slump has dropped the Blues into 11th in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, San Jose (35-22-9) is third in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Anaheim Ducks with a game in hand.

After winning the first two contests of a six-game stretch at home, the Sharks dropped a 4-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday as Evander Kane collected his first goal in a Sharks uniform and added an assist.

An attorney for the NBA, Dan Spillane, testified before a New York State Senate committee and said the league wants to give fans more widespread access to gambling, which would increase the amount wagered and, with a percentage of the money wagered going to the league, ultimately lead to more revenue for the NBA.

“We have studied these issues at length,” Spillane said in his statement to lawmakers. “Our conclusion is that the time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager on sporting events while protecting the integrity of the underlying competitions.”

What exactly does the NBA want in order to become a partner in legalizing what has amounted to a multibillion-dollar industry?

The league wants 1 percent of every bet made on its games, and if others follow suit, it could create big revenue for all sports leagues in the future.

The league also wants the wagering to be monitored in real time to detect any insider trading or alarming activity. They are also requesting including age restrictions to protect consumers in addition to a “rigorous licensing program” for operators.

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