UPDATE: The NBA rescinded the technical foul crew chief Tony Brothers assessed to Luka Doncic Friday night. Doncic will be available to play Sunday in the Mavericks’ final regular season game.
Luka Doncic’s 16th technical foul has been rescinded, according to the league office. He will play tomorrow vs. Spurs.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 9, 2022
ORIGINAL POST: Luka Doncic will likely miss the final game of the regular season. The Dallas Mavericks star picked up his sixteenth technical foul of the season Friday night in a blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers. When a player reaches 16 technical fouls, they are suspended for one game per NBA rules.
The offense occurred late in the first quarter. With time running down, Doncic attempted to get off a final shot from beyond halfcourt. In the process, Portland’s Elijah Hughes contacted Doncic. The shot missed and Doncic thought he was fouled.
After the quarter ended, Doncic pleaded his case with the officials. Crew Chief Tony Brothers wasn’t having it, and he assessed Doncic with a quick technical foul.
“I mean, I wasn’t trying to get anything,” Doncic said. “I don’t think [Hughes] did it on purpose, but he went through the back. I don’t know how I got a tech, honestly. I just asked [Brothers], ‘how is that not a foul?’ and he gave me a tech, so I don’t really know how I got a tech there. That’s it.”
After the game, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon conducted a pool report with Brothers. He asked why he assessed Doncic with a technical foul.
“At the end of the quarter he took a shot and he felt he got fouled,” Brothers said. “He started to complain to each of the officials. When I was walking toward the table, he was fifteen feet in the backcourt still complaining so he got a technical for continuously complaining.”
Asked whether Doncic used any profanity in his complaints, Brothers simply responded, “There was not.”
Doncic’s potential absence–he and the Mavericks will likely officially challenge the technical, however it could take time to get it rescinded–comes at a crucial time in Dallas’ push for playoff seeding. The Mavericks are currently fourth in the Western Conference and only a half game back of the Golden State Warriors.
Dallas will play either the Utah Jazz or Denver Nuggets in the first round. That is set. However, if the Mavericks can move into the three-seed, that means they would move out of the Phoenix Suns’ bracket and potentially wouldn’t have to face them until the Western Conference Finals.
The Mavericks host in-state rivals the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday for their regular season finale. San Antonio doesn’t necessarily have anything to play for as they are locked into the play-in tournament. However, they could still move into the ninth seed if they win-out and the New Orleans Pelicans drop a game. Still, they may be looking to play spoiler against a Doncic-less Mavs team.
While Doncic may disagree with the technical, it didn’t seem to move head coach Jason Kidd. He wasn’t interested in grilling Brothers for answers. He is simply looking toward preparing for the next game–with or without Doncic.
“I didn’t even ask,” Kidd said. “Tony was saying that he had to stop the complaining. So, that is the interpretation of the ref trying to keep the game under control. It is what it is. It’s over with. We just need to get ready for San Antonio and if he can play, he plays, and if he can’t then he moves onto the playoffs. It isn’t a big deal.”