Gregg Popovich got ejected before halftime, and he got his money's worth

Ball Don't Lie
Gregg Popovich insisted that the referees open their eyes while calling the basketball game. Apparently, they didn’t like that. (AP)
Gregg Popovich insisted that the referees open their eyes while calling the basketball game. Apparently, they didn’t like that. (AP)

Gregg Popovich stuck around the court on AT&T Center on Monday long enough to watch his longtime lead guard, Tony Parker, make a triumphant return to the San Antonio Spurs’ lineup. He did not stick around much longer than that.

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With just under 7 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter of the Spurs’ Monday meeting with the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs committed a turnover on a play where Popovich thought the refs missed the call and should’ve retained possession. He let the refs know about it, loudly, yelling for one to “Open your eyes!”

He also offered them a helpful reminder of where they were, and that they were closed, which was the problem, as he saw it (eye joke):

Gregg Popovich indicates where the eyes are, and that they should be open. Helpful. (Getty)
Gregg Popovich indicates where the eyes are, and that they should be open. Helpful. (Getty)

That earned Pop a technical foul. He did not respond too kindly to that, stepping out onto the floor and inviting the ref to “Kiss my a**!” That earned the three-time Coach of the Year a second tech, an automatic ejection, and a mandatory trip off the court to watch the rest of the game from another location in AT&T Center. Intent on getting his money’s worth, Pop elected to whip a couple of F-bombs at the zebras, and to give a long earful to referee Kenny Mauer, on his way off the court. Naturally, he received a standing ovation from the Spurs fans in the stands as he made his exit.

If you’re experiencing a certain unnerving sense of deja vu at watching Pop get an early gate for lobbing expletives and eyesight criticisms at the refs, worry not — you haven’t become unstuck in time or encircled by some sort of dark magic. It’s just that Pop did basically this exact thing like three weeks ago:



Granted, that one came in the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors rather than the early going against the Mavs, but the basics remain the same. You know, for a guy who’s fond of telling us all that his team’s games are basically inconsequential and that there are significantly more important things in the world to focus on, Gregg Popovich sure does seem to get angry at “just basketball” an awful lot. Oh, well. Here’s hoping he felt a bit better after blowing off some steam and retiring to his office for, we’re guessing, a nice glass of wine.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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