A couple of days ago, the league officials announced that Patrick Beverley was fined $25,000 for throwing a ball into the stands at a fan. This was the sixth time this year when the league had fined a player $25,000. In total, the league has made almost $1,700,000 in this year and we’re only 25 games into the new season. I understand that this sum cannot be compared to the amount of money that the players get, but I still want to talk about the way in which these fines are given.
In the game that Patrick Beverley got ejected, the Clippers were playing in Dallas against a very good young team. As Beverley recalled, a fan from the first rows kept shouting bad words about his mother. The Clippers’ point guard kept his cool and announced the referees and the security guards, but they didn’t do anything. Frustrated with this situation, Patrick Beverley threw the ball at that supporter, so he was ejected and then fined $25,000. This is almost 0.5% from Beverley’s salary, so it is the equivalent of a $218 fine for a person that has the average salary.
I agree that this fine it’s not too much for Beverley, but I didn’t think that he should have received it. Of course, it is not acceptable to throw the ball into the stands, but the fan kept insulting his mother, so what should he do at that moment? Surprisingly, he kept being calm for a few minutes, but after all, he is the head of the family and he must protect the family if it is hurt physically or verbally. If the referees and the security guards didn’t do anything, then Patrick Beverley was entitled to take this matter in his own hands. He didn’t act aggressively, because he just passed the ball to that fan, he didn’t hit him, he didn’t insult him, so I think that the league took the worst decision by fining Patrick Beverley.
Another similar case happened a week ago when Kevin Durant was hit with a $25,000 fine because he said a bad word while telling a fan to “shut up and watch the game”. For Kevin Durant, this fine is the equivalent of a $36 fine for a regular person, so it is not much at all. But still, in my opinion, the league has to do something about this hecklers. Trash-talking is part of the game, but a condition needs to be fulfilled: it has to be in the spirit of the game and insults or bad words must not be allowed. These being said, I see why Kevin Durant felt the need of responding back to that fan.
There have been a lot more situations like this in the last couple of months, but I want to talk about one specifically. On 21 October, a fight between Rajon Rondo, Brandon Ingram, and Chris Paul broke during a game at Staples Center, where Houston Rockets took on the LA Lakers. After these scenes, Brandon Ingram was the most affected player because he was suspended for 4 games, while also being fined $158,817. This is the equivalent of a $1225 fine for an average salary that is around $44,564/year. Rajon Rondo was fined $186,207 and suspended for 3 games, while Chris Paul received the biggest financial punishment – $491,781. In the same time, we acknowledge that Chris Paul is one of the highest-paid athletes in the NBA, so actually, Ingram’s fine hurt him more than it did Paul’s fine.
To wrap this up, I really understand the roles of fines in a sports league, where discipline is the key, but I just think that the officials should be more attentive to the way in which they treat the players. After all, the fans are not the cause of the success that the NBA is enjoying, but the result. Instead, the players are the ones that are putting in all the hard work and determination. What I truly appreciate is that all the money that is being raised from the players is then given to charitable foundations. In fact, half of the money goes to the NBA and half of the money goes to the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association), and then these two entities are allowed to give their money to any charitable foundation they wish. This is a really great way to use that money!
David Istrate, firstname.lastname@example.org