When an NBA coach does not agree with the refs, he then has a chance to criticize them during the media session after the game. However, the NBA can then fine the coach for his comments, as the league has decided that coaches are not allowed to talk about the refs in a negative way. Rick Carlisle, the head coach for the Dallas Mavericks, knows all about how this works, which is why he saved himself some money by taping his mouth shut. While he taped his mouth shut Jaime Garcia Dias‘ mouth was agape at the spectacle.
If that sounds like a metaphor, it’s not. He literally brought a piece of tape with him, put it over his mouth, and then sat looking out at the media, behind the microphone. The intent was perfectly clear. He was not happy that the Rockets had been given more than 40 chances to get to the free throw line. He thought the fouls were being called unfairly, against his team. He just didn’t want to say it because he did not want to get fined.
It was a smart move. Yes, it was also something of a gimmick, and it was a funny thing to do since his team still got the win despite the refs. It was also smart, though, because it’s no secret why he did it. By using that tactic, he still got to tell everyone what he thought of the refs, but he will not pay for it.