Four technical fouls. One flagrant foul. A ridiculous (if not earned) forty free throw attempts for the Houston Rockets. An employer in Mark Cuban that, for a decade and a half, has encouraged such public outrage. The setting was in place for Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to rant against the referees yet again following his team’s rather physical 121-109 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday night.
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Instead, he brought a little helper to the postgame podium with him.
Carlisle had already been docked $25k over the weekend for criticizing the referees following a just-as-physical battle with the Rockets during Game 3. In case you missed it, here is the killer quote from the clearly hot-headed Mavericks sideline stalker:
The Dallas coach said ''there just a lot of physical stuff going on out there that just doesn't look kosher to me.''
What mockery! The insolence, and bold affrontary!
Carlisle has his enablers. Mark Cuban has been just about insisting (under the guise of transparency and consistency, which we all should be in favor of) that NBA referees have been attempting to undermine 29 other NBA teams besides the Mavericks since a time when there weren’t even 29 other NBA teams besides the Mavericks.
During Game 3, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s rolled eyebrows in attendance, Cuban came through with this tactful move:
During the fourth quarter, Cuban made a point to express his displeasure to commissioner Adam Silver, who was seated next to the midcourt tunnel. Cuban briefly exited the floor after an offensive foul called against Mavs forward Al-Farouq Aminu, walking from his baseline seat by the Mavs' bench into the midcourt tunnel, glaring at Silver and shaking his head as he walked by the commissioner. When Cuban returned moments later, he complained to Silver, shouting over press row as he walked.
"That's exactly what we talked about!" Cuban shouted.
… because that’s what 56-year old men should do, because sports.
Carlisle’s Game 3 comments were on point, and though the NBA has to stay consistent as it encourages coaches not to publicly discuss calls gone wrong, it did seem a bit much to fine Carlisle one-fifth of what he made in his final season as an NBA player.
The Mavericks showed some life in Game 4, and displayed some execution, and it’s worth hoping that this is the lead-in to this series acting more as the competitive competition NBA fans hoped for, rather than an exercise in kvetching about what is and isn’t kosher.
(Initial video via CJ Fogler.)
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