The Denver Nuggets and coach Michael Malone were at it again on Monday night, expressing their frustrations with officiating during a game against the Detroit Pistons. This came after a loss in Cleveland the previous night, where Malone had already been vocal about the officiating due to the team’s low free throw rate. On this night, Malone was on the referees from the start and was eventually ejected before the first quarter ended.
Before leaving the court, Nikola Jokic also expressed his frustration by yelling at the referees and getting ejected with a very light second technical. The ejections of both Malone and Jokic were questionable, as they were both simply expressing frustration that is not uncommon among players and coaches in the NBA.
This has brought attention to the quick-trigger and thin-skinned nature of NBA refereeing this season. Some suggest that a balance needs to be struck between maintaining control of the game and allowing for passionate play and expression of emotion from players. While there is certainly a need to maintain authority in games, some argue that allowing players to show their emotions leads to more passionate and compelling play.
The ejections of important players can be seen as detrimental to both teams as well as to audiences who enjoy watching high-quality basketball games without interruptions or controversy over calls made by officials.