C’Mon Refs Pt 148: Dirk Nowitzki Gets A Tech After A Questionable Flagrant Foul

Players in this post:
Russell Westbrook

This clip could have also fell under the “NBA Is Soft” category but since the center of attention is the great and well-respected Dirk Nowitzki getting disrespected with some BS calls, I thought I should put it in the “C’Mon Refs” category.

Midway through the second quarter of the Mavs & Thunder game, 40-year old Dirk tried to use what’s left of his never-anything-to-brag-about hops to block a dunk attempt by the high-flying Jerami Grant, who also prevented a Dennis Smith murder (dunk) attempt in this game. As expected, Dirk barley got off the ground and ended up slapping Grant in the face. The refs initially called it a personal foul. Then the Thunder wanted a review because…well, the NBA is soft. They got their wish and after reviewing the play, the refs changed the call to…a flagrant!

A flagrant foul on Dirk?

When is the last time you remember Dirk intentionally trying to hurt someone? I do remember Dirk committing a well-deserved flagrant on Richard Jefferson during the 2010 playoffs. That was seven years ago and who doesn’t want to hit Richard Jefferson?

We all know Dirk can’t jump. In my household, we celebrate Dirk getting dunks like Grandpa getting some (sorry Grandma, RIP. If it makes you feel better he doesn’t use the bed you two used to share). So to think Dirk intentionally went for Grant’s face instead of the ball is just ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as 20-year vet Sean Corbin hitting Dirk with a tech for being rightfully pissed about the flagrant call.

Coach Carlisle stepped in to calm Dirk down and would eventually get hit with a tech of his own by Corbin (in the 2nd half).

The refs did give some players a break. Midway through the third quarter, Russell Westbrook and Salah Mejri exchanged some words, which led to Westbrook yelling at Mejri and calling him a “trash a$$ N***a” from the sidelines. He didn’t get a tech for it because it was his birthday and who really cares what anybody says to Mejri?