The Dallas Mavericks not only fell into a 0-3 hole against the Golden State Warriors, but they may also be facing increasing scrutiny from the NBA League Office.
Just earlier in the day, the Mavericks were fined $100,000 for what was deemed a violation of bench decorum. This was the third such fine during these playoffs for the Mavericks. Each time the fines have doubled: starting from $25,000 to $50,000 and now to $100,000.
“On multiple occasions, several players and a 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,” NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said in a statement.
Steve Kerr Is Fine with Mavericks’ Theatrics as Long as It Doesn’t Affect Gameplay
Steve Kerr has publicly said multiple times that it did not bother him that the Mavericks bench was standing throughout the game.
“Yeah, I’ve said it now the last couple of days, I’ve got no problem with it as long as it doesn’t interfere with the game,” Kerr says before Game 3. “I love the energy of those guys. You can feel their togetherness. So, all that’s good as long as there’s no interference with the action that’s happening.”
However, the one thing that was an issue for Kerr and the Warriors was how one Dallas player, in particular, was dressed in the same color as the Warriors and was calling for the ball.
“I think the difference is it’s tough to differentiate Dallas’s assistant coaches from their players who aren’t suited up and that there’s like a huge mixture of people up there, which is fine, as long as what happened the other night doesn’t happen where, you know, somebody with the same color shirt as us calls for the ball. I assume that was.”
Late in the third quarter of Game 2, Steph Curry tried to pass it over to what he thought was a Dubs teammate. However, Theo Pinson, a hardship exemption player for the Mavericks, was wearing white and had his hand raised to call for the ball.
Afterward, Pinson and some of his bench teammates can be seen laughing and smiling after Curry’s turnover. “That play in particular riled league officials,” USA Today Jeff Zillgit wrote on May 22. Zillgit also reported that the league office would address bench conduct during the offseason.
Awkward Exchange Between Referee Marc Davis and Theo Pinson
You would think after a hefty fine, and outrage for the league office, Pinson and the Mavericks would tone it down a bit. Yet, before Game 3, Pinson was back wearing white.
Marc Davis, the lead referee, approached Pinson before tip-off and tried to get him to change it.
Davis: “Hey, do me a favor. This is crazy. Can you change your shirt?”
Davis: “Will you? I appreciate it.”
Davis: “Because it’s the same color as them and you’re going to be in the way. I’ll even buy it for you.”
Pinson: “All right, if you buy it for me.”
Davis: “It don’t match, anyway.”
Pinson: “If you buy it for me, I’ll do it.”
Davis: “I got you. Send me the bill.”
This may seem like a joke, especially with Pinson laughing at the end. But it looks like Pinson decided not to comply and wear a different colored shirt, as he was seen throughout the game wearing the same white shirt.
This is not going to go over well with the league. It’s shameful that Pinson and the Mavericks have to resort to this kind of behavior, especially when they have yet to win a game in the series.