The Suns announced they fined Josh Jackson, who missed an autograph event last week. The fine was $20,000, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7. Around the time of the fan event, Jackson posted a photo of a friend’s birthday dinner to Instagram, though he said he had “family issues.”
Jackson, via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic:
“Honestly, It shouldn’t have never been public knowledge,” he said “We have team rules. We’ve been fined in the past before and you’ve never known about it. That shouldn’t be public information.”
“I got a phone call like right before the event was supposed to start,” Jackson said. “I had to rush over to my mom’s place. Really wish I could’ve been there, but I couldn’t. I don’t think you’re going to schedule something and not just show up. If I could’ve been there, I really would have.”
Jackson acknowledged Thursday he attended a dinner party later that night, but that was “hours” after the autographed event.
I want all teams to reveal all fines. I’m interested in learning more about the NBA, and that’d be informative.
I also understand why the Suns don’t announce every fine. They want to hold players accountable without shining a light on every miscue.
Even from their perspective, announcing this fine was the right move. Fans waited for Jackson, who never showed up. This wasn’t a player arriving late to practice. A public problem deserves a public response.
That said, did Jackson deserve the fine? He insists he couldn’t have been there. It’s unreasonable to punish a player for unavoidable circumstances.
The Suns have a track record of not believing their own players. Former Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough said he didn’t believe Eric Bledsoe‘s claim his “I Dont wanna be here” tweet was about a hair salon. Bledsoe got fined.
To be fair, the issue could have been only Jackson’s failure to communicate his absence. Even if he were missing the event for acceptable reasons, perhaps he could have still informed the team more promptly.
Either way, Jackson didn’t complain about getting fined – only that the fine was announced. Though I disagree with him, his perception matters. This is the type of thing that can build distrust, especially in an organization that already has deep communication issues.