The Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been fined $50,000 for using a “derogatory and offensive term” against a fan, something caught by TNT cameras during the Bulls Sunday night Game 3 loss in Miami.
The term, a derogatory term for a gay person, is the same one used by Kobe Bryant in the regular season, something that cost him $100,000.
Noah’s situation was a little different, he said it to a heckling fan (Kobe said it to a referee) and Noah was very apologetic right after the game. He admitted he cross the line. (Kobe also apologized and did a public service announcement asking people not to use the word.)
The league confirmed to CBSSports’ Eye on Basketball that the larger fine for Kobe was because he said it to a game official. Usually the league is more protective of the rich folk who can afford seats close enough to heckle players, but that is the official reasoning.
This fine seems appropriate. As our own John Krolik has said before, freedom of speech is different from freedom from consequences. Noah is paying a price for his actions, which seems fair.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.