In the third quarter of Thursday night’s Game 6 between the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix big man Deandre Ayton threw down a big dunk on Dallas superstar Luka Dončić. It was ruled a defensive foul on Dončić, even though Ayton elbowed him in the face in the process.
Deandre Ayton received a technical foul for taunting after hitting Luka in the head on this dunk. pic.twitter.com/SrrzeRopy8
— ESPN (@espn) May 13, 2022
So, that was a questionable call, but what was even more questionable was Ayton being assessed with taunting and a technical foul for (briefly) staring at Dončić after the dunk.
ESPN color commentator JJ Redick mockingly said,”Yeah, that’s taunting in the NBA in 2022.”
Redick continued, “That is not taunting. Why can’t players react after an and-one dunk? I don’t understand.”
Taunting? 🏀🙄 pic.twitter.com/L56qukL0vU
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) May 13, 2022
These taunting calls in the NBA and NFL just seem to be getting worse and worse.
Here’s a look at how the basketball world has reacted to the taunting call:
Taunting is a wild call 🤣
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) May 13, 2022
[refs spend 5 minutes at monitor]
"let's just give him a technical foul for taunting and hope nobody notices."
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 13, 2022
taunting…….stop it lol
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) May 13, 2022
Sorry taunting is a joke of a call. That’s brutal. Cheesh we have become so soft with that.
— Derek Holland (@Dutch_Oven45) May 13, 2022
Taunting for staring at him for two seconds???? You’ve got to be kidding me!!
— Tim Ring (@timringTV) May 13, 2022
Staring is taunting. Got it.
— Ashley Brewer (@ESPNAshley) May 13, 2022
The call didn’t mean much for the final score, at least. The Mavericks pummeled the Suns 113-86 to send the Western Conference semifinals series to a Game 7.
Dončić led the way for Dallas in the series-tying victory, scoring 33 points (a game-high), pulling down 11 rebounds (tied for a game-high), dishing out eight assists (a game-high), and swiping four steals (tied for a game-high).
[Photo Credit: ESPN]