On Sunday afternoon, the NBA announced that they were fining the Dallas Mavericks $100,000 for ‘violating league rules regarding bench decorum.’ This is the third time this postseason the team has been tagged for the same thing, with an escalating serious of fines that now total $175,000.
This is a fine we don’t see often and it’s even more peculiar that the Mavericks have been hit for it so often in such a short period of time. The second time they were fined, after Game 7 against the Phoenix Suns, the league offered some specific details in the press release:
An essentially word-for-word version of that release was also offered for the latest fine, after Game 2 against the Warriors. Encroaching on the playing court seems like a clear problem but the first part of that description makes it sound like the problem is simply excessive standing.
Why is the Mavericks bench getting fined by the NBA?
However, there’s more to it than that. In Game 2, Theo Pinson, an injured Mavs player who has been sitting with his team on the bench, was wearing a white t-shirt, the same color as the Warriors’ home jerseys. According to Steve Kerr, Pinson was waving his hands and calling for the ball at one point, which confused Steph Curry into a turnover, passing the ball out of bounds.
The Mavericks, for their part, don’t seem concerned or particularly interested in settling down their bench players.
Kidd, somewhat famously, was fined $50,000 in 2013 as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets for intentionally spilling a drink on the floor to create a delay of game while his team was out of timeouts. So all that is to say, it’s not the first time Kidd has tried to benefit by breaking the fourth wall.