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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

D’Angelo Russell fined by NBA for kicking ball into stands

D'Angelo Russell kicking the ball into the stands

D’Angelo Russell will now have a little less vacation money in his pocket.

The NBA announced on Monday that they have fined the Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell $15,000 (per Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times). Russell is being fined because he kicked the basketball into the stands at the end of Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

The incident occurred as time expired in the second overtime period (as the Lakers hung on for the thrilling 145-144 win). Warriors star Stephen Curry threw up a desperation heave from 3/4 court, but it was well short. Russell, watching the final possession from the bench, then kicked the ball into the distance as it came to him.

Here is the video.

That seemed like a half-instinctual and half-celebratory move from Russell. But the NBA has zero tolerance for such incidents as they try to prioritize the safety of fans (with other such punishments being handed down in recent years too).

The former All-Star guard Russell was crucial to the big win. He scored 28 points and hit a clutch go-ahead three with 53.0 seconds left in the second overtime to swing the momentum back in the Lakers’ direction. But now Russell has a league fine to worry about on top of trying not to get traded.

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