Official Bill Kennedy hit Nowitzki with two quick technical fouls for complaining about a no-call early in the second half. It was only the third ejection of Nowitzki’s 12-year career, and the first that didn’t involve a flagrant foul.
Carlisle called out Nowitzki in the locker room after the game, letting him know that he put the team in a bad situation by continue to complain after getting called for a technical. Carlisle opened his postgame press conference with similar comments.
“[Stuff] happens, right?” Nowitzki said after Thursday’s shootaround, his first interview since the ejection. “I mean, he did it already after the game in the locker room. It is what it is. Sometimes you get away with saying after the whistle and both parties kind of walk away and it’s over. He had a quick whistle that day, so I guess it’s my fault. …
“The good thing is we won the game and we move on. Obviously, if we lost that game, that would have been bad. That would have been really bad. But the guys came through. I guess I’m a little lucky that we pulled that one out.”
Nowitzki said he didn’t take Carlisle’s comments too seriously, but the All-Star power forward acknowledged that he needs to do a better job of controlling his emotions.
However, Nowitzki said he was “shocked” that Kennedy ejected him so quickly.
The confrontation with the official came after Nowitzki was called for fouling Drew Gooden on a layup attempt. Gooden got away with pushing Nowitzki in the back to get an offensive rebound on the play, prompting the complaints.
According to Nowitzki, Kennedy told him he didn’t see the push. Nowitzki replied by telling Kennedy he needed to get in position.
“And he didn’t like that, so he T’d me up,” Nowitzki said. “Then I probably deserved the second one.
“But I’m saying, usually when you get a T, there’s going to be an exchange and you get away with stuff because both sides are a little heated. You walk away and things will calm down. At this junction, he just wasn’t having nothing. He was actually pretty fired up from the beginning on. The first play of the game he already started yelling at the players. For some reason, he was pretty hardcore the other day. I shouldn’t have reacted. I just should have known.”
After Carlisle got done calling out Nowitzki, his teammates gave him good-natured grief for taking a game off.