Before Saturday’s Game 1 against the Wizards, Raptors GM Masai Ujiri responded to Paul Pierce’s recent comments about the team by saying, “We don’t give a s— about it.”
Now, in the least surprising development of the playoffs so far, the NBA has come down hard on Ujiri’s bank account for the language. The league fined him $35,000 and the Raptors organization an additional $25,000, it was announced in a press release Sunday:
Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri has been fined $35,000 for using obscene language in a public setting on Saturday, April 18 prior to the Raptors’ playoff game against the Washington Wizards, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. In addition, the Toronto Raptors organization has been fined $25,000.
Ujiri’s personal $35,000 fine is $10,000 more than the $25,000 fine he received for saying “F— Brooklyn” at a fan rally before last year’s playoff series against the Nets.
Ujiri issued a statement apologizing for the comments:
I have the deepest respect for Commissioner Silver and the NBA, and while showing passion for our team and fans I will choose my words more carefully in the future so as not to indicate otherwise.
I apologize and have acknowledged the fine with the Commissioner. I consider the matter closed and our sole focus is on the playoffs.
Ujiri’s salary is about $3 million a year, and these fines are probably worth it to him for how much they endear him to the Raptors’ fanbase. You want a GM who will stick up for your team publicly. It was also the absolute right move for the league to fine him for it.