The NBA handed down an ironic punishment to Mavericks star Luka Doncic on Friday after he taunted referees with a “money” remark late in Wednesday’s disputed 127-125 home defeat to the Warriors.
The NBA fined Doncic $35,000 for “directing an unacceptable and disrespectful gesture toward a game official” in the final moments of Wednesday’s game. Doncic’s dispute with the officials happened with 1.7 seconds left in regulation and Dallas behind Golden State, 125-122.
Doncic attempted a layup against Draymond Green deep in the paint at the 3.2-second mark of the fourth quarter but missed the shot after a tight struggle. The four-time All-Star objected to Green’s defense on the important play and proceeded to tell the referees as he walked down the floor by rubbing his fingers together in a money-related gesture.
Doncic, who did not earn a technical foul for the gesture, kept a frustrated expression as the Warriors went on to win the game with two free throws.
Wednesday’s setback was an all-around frustrating night for Doncic and the Mavs, who lost a crucial game despite Doncic’s outstanding 30-point, seven-rebound, and 17-assist performance. After the game, it was reported that Dallas would file an official protest with the NBA over a perplexing sequence in the third quarter that resulted in a Warriors basket.
With the close fight for playoff positioning in the West, Doncic was disappointed not to have the opportunity to lead the Mavericks to victory. It’s also worth mentioning that Doncic has 15 technical fouls on the season and will be suspended for one game if he commits another.
The Mavericks (36-37) are in seventh place in the Western Conference with nine games remaining as of Friday. Dallas is now 0.5 games back of the No. 7 seed Timberwolves (37-37), 1.5 games back of the No. 6 seed Warriors (38-36), and 2.5 games back of the No. 5 Clippers (39-35) and No. 4 Suns (39-35). (38–34).