The Denver Nuggets have been at the center of a number of on-court incidents over the last few weeks, the latest of which occurred in the third quarter of their loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night. This time, it was head coach Michael Malone who earned himself an ejection.
With just over six minutes to play in the frame, Nikola Jokic dumped the ball down into Will Barton in the post. He quickly drew a foul on Seth Curry, and as everyone was waiting to see if it was going to be on the floor or a shooting foul, Malone decided to give the refs a piece of his mind.
He raced out onto the court in such a rage that he actually had to be held back by Jokic. Malone was immediately tossed from the game and continued to yell and point as his assistant coaches escorted him off the floor.
The refs ended up calling the foul on Barton on the floor, but that’s not what Malone cared about. His initial frustration stemmed from the previous possession, when he thought Curry should have been called for an offensive foul for pushing off on Jokic with his off arm. If you listen carefully to the end of this clip you can hear the complaints.
From there, he appeared to be upset about how one official responded to him — at least according to the Nuggets’ broadcast in the clip of the incident. “It’s a young official, John Butler, he was talking to him. And then he talked back to Malone and Malone did not like it. He is hot at the official.”
The Nuggets fans gave Malone a rousing cheer as he walked to the locker room, but his team didn’t seem to get any sort of boost. They faded down the stretch in the fourth quarter and suffered a disappointing double-digit loss to the shorthanded Sixers.