In the third quarter of Wednesday’s loss to the Wizards, Deron Williams was hit with consecutive technical fouls and ejected from the game after arguing a no-call with the officials. Coach Avery Johnson reacted to losing his All-Star starting point guard and wound up joining Williams in the Nets’ locker room after getting tossed during the same timeout.
When your star player is thrown out of a game, as head coach you have to deal with the aftermath and decide how to react to the referee’s decision, bearing your team’s best interest in mind. Sometimes your emotions will get the best of you, but you must try to keep them in check and figure out what will ultimately benefit your team. Does your team need you on the court? Or is there more value in making a statement by venting your frustrations?
Though I earned more than my fair share of technicals when I was coaching, I seldom got myself thrown out of a game intentionally. However, it did happen on occasion. There were nights when I decided enough was enough, and I made my point. I also paid some hefty fines to the league as a result. But for the most part I felt my job was to guide my team down the stretch. Players expect their coach to be there for them when the going gets tough.
Of course keeping your cool while doing battle on the NBA hardwood is far easier said than done. But if you want to stay on the sidelines and guide your guys to a win, you’ve got to regroup, get your emotions under control and lay off the officials. Your team will only get back in the game by playing good basketball.