Sorry, Dallas Mavericks fans. Looks like Shaun Livingston won’t be starting at the point against your favorite team on Monday night.
As first reported by Sam Amick of USA Today Sports and subsequently announced by the NBA, the league office slapped two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry with a $50,000 fine — but no suspension — for “throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of a game official” late in the fourth quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ Saturday night loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
With Golden State trying to come back on Memphis in the final minute on Saturday, Curry drove through contact to make a layup. He believed he’d been fouled on the play, and when the referees kept the whistles in their pockets, the Warriors superstar went off, chucking his mouthguard toward official Scott Wall. Curry was immediately ejected, touching off a fiasco that resulted in fellow former MVP and Warriors superstar Kevin Durant also getting the gate, but not before showing jeering fans at FedExForum his ring finger — a reference to the fact that KD picked up his first NBA championship after joining Golden State last year.
— FootBasket.com (@FootBasketcom) October 22, 2017
Durant received no punishment from the league office. (Good thing it was the ring finger.) Teammate Andre Iguodala, however, was hit with a $15,000 fine for “verbally abusing a game official” in the loss.
After the Warriors’ Monday shootaround in Dallas, Curry — who you might recall getting popped with a $25,000 fine for doing the same damn thing out of anger during Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals — said he anticipated another fine for yet again frustratedly winging a saliva-speckled object toward an official. From Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“My reaction was a little over the top,” said Curry […] “Stuff happens. I try to continue to be myself and show fire, but try to do it in a way that doesn’t take away from the team, or misrepresent who I am when it comes to a reaction like that.
“I don’t necessarily think it’ll be something going forward that you’ll see, but I obviously have some regret about kind of going overboard a little bit.”
On one hand, Curry’s $50,000 fine represents a step up in penalty from the $25,000 ding he got in 2016, and that Aaron Brooks got in 2012, and that Enes Kanter got in 2014. On the other, Brooks and Kanter got fined for throwing their mouthpieces into the stands; Curry threw his toward an official. Two previous such incidents — Udonis Haslem in 2006 and Amir Johnson in 2012 — did result in one-game suspensions.
The difference? Haslem and Johnson hit the refs. Curry didn’t.
Missing Scott Wall with his mouthpiece saved the Warriors Steph Curry $239K, the amount of a 1 game suspension.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 23, 2017
Just as we’ve always said: Stephen Curry’s most valuable on-court attribute is how inaccurate he is.
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