After the Dallas Mavericks were fined $25,000 by the NBA for "violating league rules regarding bench decorum," head coach Jason Kidd said he finds the situation to be wholly unnecessary.
"The league is worried about the wrong thing," Kidd told reporters. "You have millionaires cheering on other millionaires. Doesn’t happen in this society. And the enthusiasm of the game, for a teammate to cheer on another teammate, is special."
While Kidd might chalk up the bench's antics to teammates cheering each other on, the NBA feels the Mavericks crossed the line during Wednesday's 129-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns. The league stated that "on multiple occasions" several Dallas players and a member of the coaching staff were "on or encroaching upon the playing court during game action."
There has been an uptick in trash talk from the Mavericks reserves throughout the postseason. ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported that some players "pride themselves on having the NBA's most boisterous bench."
Specifically, Theo Pinson and Tim Hardaway Jr. have taken it upon themselves to get involved in the games from the sidelines. Hardaway is out for the year with a foot fracture and Pinson rarely sees any playing time.
"We just try to do everything we can to help our teammates," Pinson said. "We just want to give ourselves an advantage. We're causing a problem for the other team, just mentally. I don't see other teams doing what we do."
Pinson admitted that there have been times when he and his teammates have gone a little too far, but he feels like they've calmed down slightly in the playoffs.
"We're probably on the floor a little bit too much here and there, but we've tamed it back from the regular season," Pinson says. "We police ourselves over there a lot more than we did in the regular season."
The Mavericks are looking to climb back from a 2-0 series deficit as they host the Suns in Game 3 on Friday.