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The NBA created a rule to make a Mavericks bench warmer sit down during games

The Dallas Mavericks consistently getting fined for excessive bench celebrations became one of the stranger storylines of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. As the Mavs went on a surprising run to the Western Conference Finals, the organization amassed $175K in fines for failing to comply with the league rules on bench decorum.

Now the league is taking an additional step to enforce the bench decorum rules for next season. The NBA’s Competition Committee is submitting a proposal to the board of governors that would issue “stiffer penalties” for teams who fail to keep their benches in order, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. Haynes reported one point of emphasis will be making sure bench players don’t stand up for long periods of time and block the views of courtside fans.

The biggest culprit for the Mavs was usually reserve guard Theo Pinson. The former standout for the North Carolina Tar Heels wasn’t even allowed to play in the playoffs because he was on a two-way deal that made him split time between the Mavs and their G League affiliate, but that didn’t stop him from routinely making himself part of the action from the bench. In the conference finals, Stephen Curry threw the ball to Pinson, who was standing up at the bench with his arm raised while wearing a white shirt — the same color as the Warriors’ jerseys. The next game, a ref asked Pinson to change his shirt before the game. If you watched the Mavs in the playoffs, you probably saw Pinson jumping up and down, cheering his teammates on, and talking smack to the opposition all postseason long.

Dallas guard Spencer Dinwiddie called Pinson the best teammate he’s ever had in the NBA. Chris Paul even credited Pinson for being a good player in a game he didn’t play in. The Mavs obviously liked having him around because they brought him back on a new contract this year.

Fans immediately called the new bench decorum rules the “Theo Pinson rule” after it was reported.

Pinson’s bench antics have been going on for years between the Knicks, Nets, and Mavericks. Here is a video compilation of Pinson’s best bench moments with the Knicks. Here are some of Pinson’s top bench moments from last season.

And here’s a segment where he was mic’d up on the bench with the Mavs:

Pinson appeared in 19 games with the Mavs last season and scored 48 total points. He was an excellent player on North Carolina’s 2017 national championship team, but in the league he’s mostly been someone who has stuck around because everyone likes him in the locker room. That’s not a bad way to be.

Pinson has to be the first player with a 2.9 career scoring average to get a rule symbolically named after him. What a legacy.



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