Illawarra coach Rob Beveridge has demanded New Zealand import Kevin Dillard "learn some damn manners" following the Hawks' 95-86 home loss to the Breakers on Friday night.
Dillard - who played with eight clubs during a three-year stint in Europe before joining the Breakers a fortnight ago - poured in a game-high 26 points in the come-from-behind victory over the Hawks.
The win boosted last season's grand finalists' record to 11-12 and lifted them into a share of fourth spot with slumping Sydney.
Dillard was instrumental with 15 points in the second half, turning and yelling in Beveridge's direction when he nailed his fifth three-point shot of the game in front of the Illawarra bench late in the third quarter.
Beveridge didn't reveal what the 1.8m guard said but it was clear he thought Dillard was out of line.
"He was talking shit, simple as that," Beveridge said.
"In all my time as a coach that's never happened to me. That was totally disrespectful. The guy's gotta learn some damn manners."
Beveridge spoke briefly to Dillard when the pair shook hands at full-time and also let Breakers coach Paul Henare know what he thought of the 27-year-old American's actions.
"Whether it's me or other coaches around here, for him to run down the sideline and get in my face was pretty disrespectful," he said.
"I spoke to him about it after the game so hopefully he realises you've gotta have a little bit of manners in this league. I don't know if his parents would be overly happy with the way he treated an adult."
Beveridge believes the second-placed Hawks (12-11) need to toughen up.
"This is the pointy end of the season and we've gotta have a lot more of an eff you attitude," he said.
"It's nothing but mindset and how you apply yourself to the game."
New Zealand are seeking their fourth straight win when they host Perth on Sunday. "Every game's a big game," Henare said.
"We seem to be finding some form at the right time and we want to try and keep this momentum going."