My ref remark was immature: Kings coach

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Sydney Kings coach Chase Buford has apologised for putting NBL referee Chris Reid in the crosshairs, saying it was an immature and emotional reaction.

Buford raised eyebrows when he said he hoped Reid wouldn't be officiating Sydney's games in their upcoming best-of-three semi-final series against Illawarra, starting Friday.

Hawks coach Brian Goorjian felt those comments were out of line, saying it was wrong to suggest a referee had a bias.

"To call one out personally .... he can't ref again," Goorjian said.

"There's no referee purposely going against teams, and that's what that infers.

"It was a punch that was unexpected and I would think that he (Buford) regrets it."

Buford is yet to hear whether he'll be sanctioned by the NBL, and he apologised for his comments on Wednesday.

"What I said was totally out of line, just an immature and emotional reaction to a play," Buford told AAP.

"I've got to stop getting involved in personal battles with the officials.

"I understand why Goorj feels the way he does about it."

Reid is the reigning NBL referee of the year, and it remains to be seen what games he will be assigned to during the two semi-finals series.

The Sydney v Illawarra match-up is shaping to be a spicy affair after a number of on and off-court feuds between the teams this season.

Goorjian even went as far as saying it sets the scene "like an old Rocky movie".

"It's a competitive rivalry," Buford said.

"I'm looking forward to it. In the last couple of games, both in their place and our place, it was a great atmosphere.

"Just across their roster they're really talented. They've got a lot of dudes who can score and make plays.

"(Tyler) Harvey and (Justinian) Jessup, their guards, generate a lot of their action.

"But also (Sam) Froling and (Duop) Reath we need to keep them off the boards, and keep (Antonius) Cleveland out of transition for sure."

Star Kings guard Jaylen Adams missed Sunday's 87-84 loss to the Hawks through illness, but Buford said the American had been cleared to return for game one.

The Hawks will host games one and three (if required) after their final-round win over Sydney saw them leapfrog the Kings into second spot.

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