Speaking to reporters after Slovenia’s loss to Canada on Wednesday, Mavericks star Luka Doncic claimed that the FIBA officials said they weren’t inclined to give him foul calls due to the way he was arguing with them all night, as Aris Barkas of Eurohoops relays.
“The refs told one of the guys, ‘We’re not going to call a foul on him because he’s coming at us,'” Doncic said. “I know I complain a lot, but I don’t think this is fair. They were playing physically against me, but that’s not fair, to say something like this.”
Both Doncic and Rockets forward Dillon Brooks were ejected from the game with technical fouls in the fourth quarter — Doncic for objecting to a non-call and Brooks for taunting. Brooks was the primary defender on Doncic and guarded him aggressively for much of the game. However, Doncic said his anger wasn’t aimed at Brooks.
“I respect Dillon, he is very physical,” Doncic said. “People may not like him, but I respect him for what he does. And he does that really good.”
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- The Mavericks will benefit a little financially from JaVale McGee‘s contract with Sacramento, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Dallas will receive $697,340 in “set-off” based on McGee’s new deal, and that amount will spread across the five years he remains on the team’s books, reducing his annual cap hits by $139,468.
- Rockets rookie Cam Whitmore, the MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League in July, spoke to Kelly Iko of The Athletic about his experience in Vegas and his expectations for his first NBA season. According to Whitmore, his focus when he reports to the team this fall will be on learning his role. “Whatever the coaching staff wants me to do, I’ll do it,” Whitmore said. “If they mention something to me, I’ll make sure it’s taken care of. I’m all ears in training camp.”
- As he prepares for his second NBA season, Spurs wing Malaki Branham has spent the offseason in gyms in San Antonio, Washington, D.C., and even in Madrid during his first ever trip overseas, part of an NBPA retreat. As Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News writes in a subscriber-only story, Branham is optimistic that the work he has put into improving his game this summer will be readily apparent in the fall. “Even the guys I’ve seen since I’ve been back are like, ‘I see you’ve been in the gym a lot this summer,'” Branham said.