The antics from the Dallas Mavericks bench against the Golden State Warriors will be very costly for the franchise.
The NBA announced on Sunday that the Mavericks have been fined $100,000 for violating “league rules regarding team bench decorum,” the third time the team has been fined this postseason and the largest single fine yet. As ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported, the league cited several incidents from Friday’s Game 2 against the Warriors where the Mavericks violated rules regarding bench conduct.
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NBA Cracks Down on Mavericks
In a statement issued on Sunday, the league noted that several Mavericks players and one member of the coaching staff “stood for an extended period in the Mavericks’ team bench area, stood away from the team bench, and were on or encroaching upon the playing court during game action.”
The league noted an incident in Game 2 on May 20 when Steph Curry mistakenly passed the ball to Mavericks two-way player Theo Pinson on the Dallas bench. Pinson was not in uniform but was wearing a white shirt, the same color as the Warriors players. As USA Today’s Jeff Zillgett noted, Pinson also had his arm raised at the time.
As MacMahon noted, the Mavericks had already been fined twice in the last series, being disciplined for incidents in Game 2 and Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns. But Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said he has no interest in reining in his players and instead praised their enthusiasm.
“The league is worried about the wrong thing,” Kidd said after the league’s first fine, via ESPN. “You have millionaires cheering on other millionaires. Doesn’t happen in this society. And the enthusiasm of the game, for a teammate to cheer on another teammate is special. And I think sometimes we’re focused on the wrong thing. And so when you look at people who make a lot of money cheering on their teammates or their employees, that’s what sport is all about.”
Dallas Could Have More Trouble Ahead
The fine for the Mavericks has doubled with each bench incident this postseason, starting with a $25,000 fine in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals, then a $50,000 fine in Game 7 and a $100,000 fine for the latest incidents. As USA Today’s Zillgitt noted, officials generally do not issue technical fouls for bench decorum during a game — and the league does not plan to start now — but they could find other ways to address the incidents in a more timely manner in the coming season.
“However, the topic will be discussed in the offseason, and the league will explore ways to address bench decorum during games in real time, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports,” Zillgitt wrote. “The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the topic.”
Officials also took a more proactive approach with the Mavericks during the Western Conference Finals. As the TNT broadcast on Sunday’s Game 3 showed, referee Marc Davis asked Pinson to change his shirt, as he was once again wearing the same white that the Warriors had for their away jerseys. Pinson declined, continuing to wear his white shirt.