The Mavericks’ poor play got worse on Monday when head coach Jason Kidd and star guard Luka Doncic were both ejected in a 116-106 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After the match, Kidd was clearly angry, but bit his tongue from the podium.
“I’m here because I have to be here,” Kidd told reporters. “I already gave up money, so I don’t want to give up anymore. So no question. We’ll go back and watch the tape and see how we can get better. They were the best team tonight and we’ll go from there.
“Thank you for showing up.”
That was it for the Mavs coach, who made the most of his media commitments.
Both ejections came with 2:00 left in the third quarter and the Timberwolves led 85-71. Doncic protested the no call when he believed he was fouled on the shot. Whatever he said prompted not one but two quick whistles from referee Rodney Mott, who has been here with Doncic before.
With the Mavs down by 14 and their star point guard gone, Jason Kidd took the opportunity to listen to the officials. He earned his own ejection with two technicals from referee Nick Buchert
Of course, Doncic is no stranger to drawing technical fouls. He was second in the league with 18 last season and was among the leaders again in 2022-2023. Even Doncic admitted that he complains too much about the officials.
Near previously sent off Doncic and clearly has no patience for his grievances. Doncic certainly did not agree with Mott’s decision. But even he believes he deserved the first whistle.
“I probably deserved one, but definitely not two,” Doncic told reporters. “I deserved the first one, I won’t lie, but definitely not the second one, I was really shocked when I got kicked out.
“It was confusing. I don’t even know what’s going on. Then I heard they kicked me out like “it was a surprise”. So I just smiled.”
While a problem, ejections aren’t the Mavericks’ main concern right now. They entered the season hoping to make a jump in the Western Conference standings. Monday’s loss was their 10th in 16 games and dropped the Mavericks to 15-16 under .500. That was good for 10th in the West on Monday.