The NBA has fined Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion for his criticism of the referees from Friday night’s game between the Mavs and Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder beat the Mavericks 117-114 in overtime in that game while Kevin Durant scored a career-high 52 points that included 21 trips to the free throw line.
“It’s hard to beat anybody when you’re playing five-on-eight,” Marion told reporters. “That’s nuts. Some of them were fouls. Some of them were questionable. But it is what it is.”
Sure, Durant gets some star treatment. Referees or more ready to blow the whistle when he has the ball and is looking to shoot. That’s the nature of this league and every star player has gotten that treatment before from Michael Jordan to LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki as well.
That’s the most frustrating thing for a defender like Marion. Marion has been one of the best defenders in this league over the past decade and there’s no star treatment for someone like him.
Just watching the game Friday night the calls didn’t seem over the top in favor of Durant. Most of those calls he got Friday night are the same ones he gets all season. Maybe from the Dallas perspective, they seemed unreasonable but that’s how Durant is officiated.
There’s an art to drawing contact and Durant has gotten very good at it. He makes sure you hit him on the arm when he goes up to shoot and he makes sure he gets bumped on the body when he drives the paint. You have to be in very good defensive position to make sure you don’t get called for a foul and that’s hard to do with how long and quick Durant is.
But you just can’t say what Marion did after a game. He knows that and he probably knew the fine would be coming when those words left his mouth. It doesn’t matter who is right here.