After receiving a $25K fine for “bench decorum” infractions during Game 2 of their second-round series vs. the Suns, the Mavericks have been fined $50K for similar infractions during Game 7, with the increased penalty partly based on the prior violation, the league announced (via Twitter).
“On multiple occasions, several players and a member of the coaching staff stood for an extended period in the Mavericks’ team bench area, stood away from the team bench, and were on or encroaching upon the playing court” during Game 7, the NBA said.
As ESPN’s Tim MacMahon wrote a couple weeks ago, the boisterous bench squad, led by two-way player Theo Pinson, who is ineligible for the playoffs, has been credited with improving team chemistry as well as annoying opponents.
“He (Pinson) gave us something we didn’t have, and now he has a group over there,” head coach Jason Kidd said before Dallas’ closeout Game 6 win over Utah.”They’re all into the game from jump ball to the end. Win or lose, those guys are connected and the team is connected.”
“We’re involved all game,” Pinson said, per MacMahon. “We’re involved, up, ready, helping our teammates. We’ve seen the importance of it.”
As evidenced by a combined $75K in fines to this point, clearly the league believes the figurative and literal line has been crossed several times. Kidd previously said the NBA had the wrong priorities when it came to the first fine, but noted that it was going to a good cause (charity).
Owner Mark Cuban responded to the first fine (via Twitter) with a link to a video in which he cursed a second time at an Esports event after learning that his first F-bomb had resulted in a $15K fine that went to charity, so obviously he doesn’t seem to mind being docked, especially given the team’s postseason success. The Mavs are in the Western Conference Finals for the fifth time in franchise history, and the first time since 2010/11, when Dallas won its first title.