Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic had an earful for officials during a 107-91 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. In fact, he’s had a lot to say in recent weeks.
Doncic’s chirping has become consistent, and Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has heard enough. He believes Doncic’s mouth is a detriment to the team and needs to be zipped.
“I would lean toward playing five-on-five a bit more,” Kidd said, via ESPN. “You’re not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there’s a point in time in games — dead balls — to be able to talk to officials.
“While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we’ve talked about that we have to get better. If we’re lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm’s way. … Just some things have got to be a little bit more important. I think we’re going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials.”
Kidd stressed that his message was for everyone to hear, not just Doncic. But Luka took it to heart and ultimately agreed with his coach.
“J. Kidd, he’s got a point,” Doncic said. “I’ve got to stop doing that.”
Opponents of Doncic have played him physical all season. They’re capable of getting under his skin, and they realize that. Pelicans forward Garrett Temple admitted as much after the game.
“Playing physical, getting into him,” Temple said. “You know he got a little frustrated early on, and we tried to build off that.”
At one point on Friday night, Doncic became so frustrated he asked the officials, “why do you hate me?”
Despite agreeing with Kidd that he needs to quiet down, Doncic remained firm in his belief that he’s being treated unfairly.
“I think you guys can see it,” Doncic said. “I’ll leave it there.”
Doncic and the Mavs will be back on the court on Saturday night when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies.