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Rick Carlisle says ref apologized for Mavericks huddle incident


Rick Carlisle indicated on Thursday that referee David Jones has apologized for an incident that occurred during Wednesday night’s game that ended with the Dallas Mavericks head coach accusing the official of “baiting” point guard Deron Williams into a technical.

“With the League’s permission, referee David Jones contacted me today to apologize for the situation that developed with Deron Williams last night,” Carlisle wrote in a text to several media members, per an ESPN report. “I accepted his apology and told him that I now consider this matter in the past.”

The bizarre incident occurred during a timeout about midway through the third quarter. Jones entered the team huddle and apparently said something to Williams before being escorted away by Mavs assistant Melvin Hunt. This elicited a “What’s up?” response from Williams. Jones then hit the guard with a technical.

Suffice to say, Carlisle wasn’t pleased with what transpired.

“For the first time in a 33-year NBA career, I saw a referee make a point of going out of his way and walking into our huddle and baiting one of our guys into getting a technical,” Carlisle said after the game. “I’ve never seen anything like that in my years in this league. I don’t see how that can ever be excusable.”

When asked how Jones baited Williams, Carlisle said, “I’m not getting into that, but he clearly did.”

Despite the technical foul resulting in a missed free throw in the Mavericks’ 102-96 loss to the Detroit Pistons, meaning it didn’t have any ultimate impact on the outcome of the game, Carlisle seems to be in the right here, especially if what he reports is true and that Jones apologized for what happened.

“An official’s job is to defuse the situation, not to blow it up,” Carlisle continued after the game. “And the referee we’re talking about is an experienced guy. But I’ve never seen anything like this.”

As noted in the report, Jones “declined to speak to a pool reporter because of confusion with the process of making the request.”

Jones is in his 26th season as an NBA official.