Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić and head coach Jason Kidd were both ejected from its 116-106 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday as the team’s underwhelming season continues.
With Dallas trailing 85-69 with two minutes left in the third quarter, Dončić was bumped by Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels as he attempted to defend a shot from the Slovenian. Despite Dončić’s protests and to his ire, the referee’s chose not to call a foul for the contact.
After a foul was called at the other end of the floor on the subsequent play, whatever Dončić said to the officials didn’t go down well, earning himself two quick technical fouls from referee Nick Buchert and therefore his ejection to the Slovenian’s bemusement.
As Dončić protested the calls, his head coach Kidd was adjudged to have complained too vociferously for the officials’ liking, earning himself two quick technical fouls and his own ejection just moments later.
Dončić, who finished with 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists, told the media afterwards that he had received no explanation for the reason for his two technical fouls.
“I probably deserved the one, but two, for sure, no,” Dončić said. “I deserved the first one – I’m not going to lie. For sure not the second one. I was really shocked.”
He added: “I didn’t know what was going on. I heard that I got ejected. I was like: ‘Oh, that’s a surprise.’”
Kidd didn’t take any questions from the media afterwards, instead choosing to issue a short statement before leaving.
“I’m here because I have to be,” Kidd said. “I already gave up money, so I don’t want to give up any more, so no questions.
“We’ll go back and look at the tape and see how we can get better. They were the better team tonight and we’ll go from there. Thanks for showing up.”
Dončić is no stranger to technical fouls, having finished tied for the second most in the NBA last year with 18. The 23-year-old is amongst the league leaders again this year.
The defeat continues the Mavericks sub-par beginning to the 2022-23 season, as the team’s record slips to below .500 to 15-16.
For a team who reached the Western Conference finals last season, Dallas has now lost 11 games out of its last 18, and has fallen to 10th in the Western Conference standings.
Although Dončić is personally having another excellent season – he’s averaging 32.5 points a game, second in the NBA – Dallas as a whole has struggled, with shooting, defense and offense – outside of its Slovenian star – the main concerns.