The Dallas Mavericks fell to the lowly New Orleans Pelicans 107-91 Friday night and after the game, head coach Jason Kidd had some strong words for star point guard Luka Doncic. Kidd wants Doncic to stop lobbying for calls from officials during the run of play.
Here's what Kidd had to say when asked about his star's interactions with officials:
"I would lean toward playing 5-on-5 a bit more. You're not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there's a point in time in games -- dead balls -- to be able to talk to officials.
"While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we've talked about that we have to get better. If we're lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm's way. ... Just some things have got to be a little bit more important. I think we're going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials. Not just Luka."
Doncic has been open about his frustrations with officials and has admitted that they can impact his focus on the court. On Friday night he even seemed to agree with his coach by saying, "J. Kidd, he's got a point. I've got to stop doing that."
Doncic was in discussions with officials for most of Friday night's game. At one point he asked them, "Why do you hate me?" It's become a problem.
The 22-year-old Doncic is a two-time first-team All-NBA guy already, so his issues with officials are nothing more than a distraction at this point. The Mavericks need him engaged and playing up to his potential.