3 minutes into his Monday night performance against the Mavericks, Demarcus Cousins picked up his second technical foul – 136th overall – and was ejected from the game for the season’s first iteration of his often-contentious relationship with the league officials.
Boogie got his first tech early in the second quarter after a little trash-talking sequence with Willie Cauley-Stein, which ended with Cousins giving the Mavs center a shove. There was no real animosity between the two, nor were there any signs of things escalating on the spot, but the refs decided to nip it in the bud and end the skirmish with double technicals.
Not three minutes later, after he drove to the basket for an easy layup, Cousins complained about a no-call and was T’d up for the second time in the contest. And while the first tech can be rationalized as a precaution, the one that got Boogie ejected is questionable, at least. Here’s how John Goble, officiating crew chief, explained his decision.
POOL REPORT ON DEMARCUS COUSINS’ SECOND TECHNICAL IN TODAY’S MAVERICKS/ROCKETS GAME pic.twitter.com/R0hLLUcvAQ— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) January 5, 2021
The NBA’s stance on officiating “overt gestures” cites an air punch as a violation worthy of a technical foul. However, “players can react to calls with which they disagree, provided the reaction is not overly demonstrative, disrespectful, or prolonged.”
Cousins’ reaction seemed like none of that, and there’s no way he should’ve been thrown out for it. In fact, no one should ever be thrown out for it, especially if their reactions are within boundaries of sportsmanlike conduct. Displaying raw emotions on the basketball court should never be the culprit, but allowed conduct in a competitive environment. Otherwise, the NBA will continue to be labeled as soft, and looking at Cousins’ ejection; you can’t help but agree with it.