May 17, 2022

Luka Doncic understands he’s been a bit more prone to losing his temper this season. With 15 technical fouls in 59 games, the Dallas Mavericks star is tied with Philadelphia 76ers center Dwight Howard for the most in the NBA. Doncic also understands one more tech will earn him an automatic one-game suspension. 

Speaking to the Inside the NBA crew on TNT after defeating the Brooklyn Nets, 113-109, on Thursday, Doncic was asked about how he’ll approach the slim margin for error and responded with some self-reflection. 

“With officials, I wasn’t myself this season,” Doncic said. “I’m complaining way too much and I’ve got to work on that. I’ve got to stay calm and just not talk to them. I’ve got to learn from that.”

Dallas has six games left in the regular season, and with Kristaps Porzinigs (knee) still sidelined, the Mavs can’t afford to lose Doncic, either. Certainly not with playoff seeding at stake. 

Doncic addressed the issue during his postgame interview with the TNT crew after the Mavericks’ 113-109 win over the Brooklyn Nets and elaborated in a virtual media availability minutes later.

“I realize it,” Doncic said. “It’s something that I’m not supposed to do. [It’s difficult] with all the emotions in games, but obviously I’ve got to stop. It’s just hard for me on the court with all the emotions, but I realize it and I’ve got to work on this. It’s tough to do it, but I’ve got to work on it and be way better than this.”

Though Doncic has been called for 16 technical fouls this season, the one he received for yelling, “And-1!” during an April 2 win over the New York Knicks was later rescinded by the league office and does not count toward his official total. He has been called for 10 technical fouls in 28 games since the All-Star break.

Players are automatically suspended for a game after receiving 16 technical fouls in the regular season, and every two technical fouls after that result in another one-game suspension. Those totals do not carry over into the playoffs when players are suspended a game after their seventh technical foul of the postseason.