Cavs’ Kevin Porter Jr. suspended one game for ‘improperly making contact’ with referee

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Rookie Kevin Porter Jr. is trying to earn his minutes in Cleveland and learn the ropes of the NBA along the way.

One unassailable reality: Players cannot bump a referee.

With time running out in the third quarter Sunday in the Cavaliers’ loss to the Mavericks, Porter Jr. took an outlet pass and tried to attack the rim and draw a foul on Luka Doncic. No call was made, referees determined Porter Jr. did not get the shot off before the buzzer. The rookie threw his hands up in frustration.

Then as he ran back to the bench, he intentionally shouldered referee Bill Spooner.

That has led to a one-game suspension without pay “for improperly making contact with a game official,” the league announced Monday.

This was pretty cut and dried. That is intentional, not an accident.

It’s a rookie mistake, and it’s going to cost him. Some lessons are painful to learn.