In Monday night’s game between the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons, frustration over officiating boiled over, leading to the ejections of both Coach Michael Malone and Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets had already expressed dissatisfaction with the officiating after their loss in Cleveland the previous night, and it seemed to carry over into this game.
Malone was vocal about his frustrations from the outset, arguing with referees before being ejected before the first quarter ended. Jokic also expressed his frustration, yelling at the referees and getting ejected with a very light second technical. Both ejections were questioned, as they were seen as unnecessary and not in line with the standards of NBA refereeing.
The focus has now shifted to the quick-trigger and thin-skinned nature of NBA refereeing this season, with some calling for a balance to be struck between maintaining control of the game and allowing for passionate play and expression of emotion from players. While there is a need for authority in games, many argue that allowing players to show their emotions leads to more compelling play and a better product for audiences.
The ejections of important players like Malone and Jokic can be seen as detrimental to the entertainment value of the game, as they take away from the excitement and passion that come from seeing top-level athletes give their all on the court. However, it is important to remember that player safety must always be a top priority, even if it means limiting emotional displays during games.