Normally, a $6,000 fine isn’t much to an NBA player, but for former Duke standout Dahntay Jones, it was nearly two-thirds of his prorated salary for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.
Jones, a 14-year NBA veteran, picked up a pair of technical fouls at the end of the Cavaliers’ 116-105 win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
In the NBA playoffs, a technical foul comes with a $3,000 fine. With 18.7 seconds left in Monday’s game, Jones dunked and then received his first technical foul for taunting Toronto’s Jakob Poeltl. Then he got a second technical for jawing with Toronto’s Norman Powell.
That’s $6,000. Again, not usually a big deal in the NBA but Jones, an All-ACC guard with Duke in 2003, signed with Cleveland on the last day of the regular season. That works out to $9,127.
And the way NBA contracts work, players don’t get paid in the playoffs. Each round is worth a certain amount and each player gets a share when the playoffs are over. Theoretically, with another technical or two, Jones could wind up paying to play for the Cavaliers.
After the game, Cleveland star LeBron James offered to pick up Jones’ fine. He did the same last year in the playoffs when Jones was fined for hitting Toronto’s Bismack Biyombo. That tab was only $80.
James, who made $30.9 million just from the Cavs this season, jokingly admonished his 36-year-old teammate in the post-game press conference on Monday night.
“I told him tonight, I said, ‘Listen, Dahntay, alright now, enough is enough,’” James said. “‘Stop getting kicked out against Toronto all the time, alright?’
“I’m going to stop paying your damn fine. But, yeah, he doesn’t have to worry about it. He’s good.”
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio