Now comes further punishment.
Washington Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas has been fined $25,000 for making inappropriate contact with a game official, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The NBA has repeatedly suspended players for bumping referees. The league has also just fined players for similar transgressions. The fines have come more recently, so perhaps this is part of a larger trend of leniency for player misconduct. However, players have also gotten suspended in the last few years for making contact with officials, though those incidents had head-to-head contact and a player running out of his way to clip a referee.
Thomas was in close proximity with referee Marat Kogut when Portland trapped the Washington guard and sent him off balance. Thomas collided with/fell into Kogut with a clenched fist landing on Kogut’s chest. Then, Thomas extended his arm, sending Kogut stumbling backward into the crowd. Thomas also grabbed Kogut’s arm as Kogut signaled the ejection.
Ultimately, it should be players’ responsibility to avoid contacting officials. Thomas failed in that regard. Should the consequence include a fine or suspension? Tough to say based on precedent.