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Luka Doncic’s ‘money sign’ loses him some money

The Mavericks star drew a $35K fine for strongly implying the officials were on the take. Mark Cuban has never been prouder.

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic was floored by the amount of fine money the NBA will be taking from him.
Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

If you want to be truly happy in life, find something you love as much as the Dallas Mavericks love complaining about officiating.

Luka Doncic drew a $35,000 fine from the NBA after a gesture he made late in the Mavericks’ loss to the Warriors Wednesday night. He rubbed his fingers together in a “money sign,” implying that the referees had been paid off by the Warriors. That’s exactly what you want from your franchise cornerstone: To inexplicably take a last-second layup while trailing by three points, miss it, flop for a foul call, and then blame the referees for the loss while also challenging their integrity.

Although ESPN’s Tim McMahon explains, it could have been worse. Doncic is sitting on 15 technicals, one short of the Dillon Brooks Line of 16 technical fouls, which comes with an automatic one-game suspension. Doncic almost got 16 last year, but the league rescinded the last one. That would have cost him a lot more than $35K.

Owner Mark Cuban is no stranger to getting fined for going after officials, having racked up over $3 million in fines for criticizing officials over the years. He’s going to get another one for his extended Twitter rant this week, plus the $10K fee to file a protest over the game.

But this was a game that saw Doncic go to the foul line more than the Warriors’ entire starting lineup. Luka’s complaint came after Draymond Green defended him cleanly. In fact, according to the Last Two Minute Report, the only bad call at the end of the game was Doncic not getting whistled for an obvious travel.

It was also a game where the Mavericks got three points from running over Anthony Lamb on this play, with nary a whistle.

Beyond this, it’s just not great to have one of the NBA’s top superstars constantly whining about the referees. In a year where Fred VanVleet cursed out a referee and LeBron James had an on-court meltdown over a missed call, Doncic still stands out with how much he complains. Even his coach thinks he needs to leave the referees alone.

But when his 64-year-old owner is running on the court to argue at the scorers table, how can you really expect Doncic to act differently? Jawing with the officials seems to be a core value of the Mavericks franchise. It just might be a very expensive one if Doncic gets T’d up again before the end of the season.

(Note: Mark Cuban’s fine total does not include his $10 million “donation” to women’s causes after an NBA investigation of sexual misconduct and a hostile work environment for women in the Mavericks organization.)

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