Skepticism surrounding the increasing number of National Basketball Association fines has slowly been growing. The New York Times reports that in November, the NBA issued 21 fines and suspensions, amounting to about $602,882 in fees, and now critics are questioning whether players have really been loosening their behavior or if the league has been tightening its rules.
Considering that the number of punishments incurred last month total the first full calendar month of the previous three NBA seasons combined, it’s evident that something is changing — fans are just not yet sure what yet. Rod Thorn, the NBA’s president of basketball operations, also acknowledged the rise in fines. He told the Times: “Normally, you don’t have that many early in the season, then around the holiday season, you get more, then as you get down near the playoffs, you get more. This year, it’s started early.”
Jason Terry, a Nets guard, told the publication he attributes the increase to the ballooning ways players can now get in trouble compared to the rules when he first entered the NBA, 14 years ago. “Social media, dress code, standing up during the game, uniform regulations — it’s the letter of the law around here, and we don’t have much say in it,” Terry said in an interview with The New York Times. So the question stands: Is the NBA right in handing out fines like they’re candy, or should the league be practicing some form of moderation?
Terry says that players do care about the fines, but the Times likens a $5,000 fine for a player making $2,690,875 per year to a $95 penalty for someone making $50,895, suggesting that players may be inconvenienced but not much else.
In April, BestTicketsBlog published a detailed report on the history of NBA fines. The site not only highlighted the most common and interesting fines, it also explored the most heavily fined individuals up to that point. Keeping in mind that BestTicketsBlog published its findings on April 29, here are the seven most fined NBA players from 2003 up to that point this year. Also bear in mind this list features the most fined individuals, rather than those with the highest player fines, meaning that Vladimir Radmonovic’s epic $500,000 punishment won’t make the list.