The Denver Nuggets expressed their frustrations with officiating during Monday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons, following a loss in Cleveland the previous night. Coach Michael Malone, already vocal about the officiating with the team’s low free throw rate, seemed to carry over his frustrations into the game. He was on the referees from the onset and was ejected before the first quarter ended. Before he left the court, Nikola Jokic also expressed his frustration, 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 expressing frustration that is not uncommon among players and coaches in the NBA. This has brought the focus to the quick-trigger and thin-skinned nature of NBA refereeing this season, with some suggesting that a balance needs to be struck between maintaining control of the game and allowing for passionate play and expression of emotion from the players.
While there is a need to maintain a level of authority in games, some argue that allowing players to show their emotions leads to more passionate and compelling play. It’s seen as a trade-off for better overall play and a better product for audiences. The ejections of important players can be seen as detrimental to the entertainment value of the game.