NBA fines Lakers’ LeBron James $15K for making obscene gesture

NEW YORK — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was fined $15,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture during the team’s victory in Indiana on Wednesday.

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The NBA made the announcement Friday. The league also warned James about using profane language, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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James, 36, was fined for doing what is called the “Sam Cassell dance” after he made a shot late in Los Angeles’ 124-116 overtime victory in Indiana. After making the shot, James ran back upcourt, grabbing his crotch while running with his legs at an awkward angle, the newspaper reported.

James scored 39 points against the Pacers. James missed Tuesday’s game at New York after he was suspended for hitting Detroit center Isaiah Stewart in the face last week, ESPN reported.

James used the profanity in an interview with ESPN after Wednesday’s victory when discussing the suspension.

Many players have adopted the dance throughout the years to celebrate a big shot, but the NBA did not levy fines until the 2010-2011 season, The Sporting News reported. Fines have ranged between $15,000 and $25,000, the sports newspaper reported.

Cassell played in the NBA between 1993 and 2008. He told The Athletic that the fines were unnecessary.

“It’s so stupid,” Cassell, now an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers, told the magazine. “C’mon. It’s so stupid. It’s just so stupid to take somebody’s money for that. Like, c’mon now.

“It ain’t like you’re giving somebody the finger. That’s a fine. You know what I’m saying? C’mon.”