Post-game Reactions

Here’s the story, via ESPN.com:

Stu Jackson, the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations, fined Ainge for “an unauthorized distraction and for conduct detrimental to the game.”

The word that interests me there is “unauthorized.” Does the league have to authorize towel-throwing? What about arm-waving? Yelling? Does Danny have to call the office first?

Look, I get that the towel toss looked silly, considering the score at the time (80-57, good guys) and the sort of amateurish jocular nature of the act. But a fine?

I dunno, and I don’t have time right now to dig into the precedent. Maybe it’s totally in line with league rules and precedent. I’ll have to check later.

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Zach Lowe

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  • Jason

    There’s no need to check. There’s only one response to this fine: utterly embarrassing joke of a league.

    I would probably bet all other 29 fan bases would rail that it’s bush league-ish. Even some Cs fans would agree. And at the same time those same 29 fan bases would agree this fine is an utter joke.

  • GranTur

    25,000 to Stern and his lackeys.

  • kgkgkgkg

    four letters describe this best – LMAO

  • Paolo

    maybe they should not allow fans to attempt to distract opponents at the free throw line anymore. if it’s that much of “conduct detrimental to the game” and all. i mean, hickson DID “miss” the free throw after the towel toss. and it was so SURE that the towel in the air affected his shooting at the foul line.

    this is just one heck of a storyline. i still can’t believe that the league actually does this kind of stuff and is deteriorating to levels as low as these. at least they’re the ones humiliating themselves.

  • hallik

    WTF? Is this the NFL now!? No fun League? This is crazy! So you cant be a fan of Basketball now b/c you are a GM!? Stern is joke!

  • hallik

    So Mark Cuban should be broke by now? Right? Look Celtic pride is what it is! If I had the 25k I would pay it in pennies and drop it off at the NBA offices! Go Celts!

  • Jay P


    Ainge isn’t just a “fan” GMs and executives of teams need to be held to a higher standard than an average fan, no question about it.

    I completely agree with the fine, and it was warranted. Danny expected it, he said so yesterday, so this comes as no surprise.

    It was unprofessional for a GM and face of the Celtics organization to that. I love Danny Ainge, and I don’t think this speaks as a character flaw, he just got caught up in the emotions of the game. But an example has to be made, and the league was right to fine him.

  • Kudos to JayP for taking the unpopular position and coming strong.

  • Jason

    Like I said, I see the bush-league arguments. And while, of course, we want our execs to be fans like us, it’s not unreasonable to expect some higher standard, whether it’s a lot higher or just a little higher. But all that said, fined 25K? Insane!

  • James

    I’m fairly certain that there were Cavs or Lakers players throwing towels during FTs in 2008 on the way to the championship (at least in Cle gm 7 or any of the Finals wins, as that’s what I’ve got on DVD). Take a look- it irked me at the time, and if it’s the same towel flip that would make this fine ridiculous.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    Welcome to the enigmatic nba. Why is there such a cloud of mystery over our rules? Is there a list of authorized distractions??? Anyone? Just add this to the, ‘what is a travel or carry, anyway?’ conundrum.

  • Cptn Bubbles

    If it goes to charity is it tax deductible?

  • I love Green

    I bet every fan at the Garden will be throwing something up on free throws tomorrow. Hopefully they don’t all get fined!

  • Jay P

    @all above

    You can certainly inconsistency in similar actions by others in the past, or perhaps the amount. I won’t argue that point, I’m just saying in this one instance, it was unprofessional, and A fine was deserved.

  • Jay P

    @I love Green

    That sounds like a fantastic idea… I might be sitting in the Balcony, but I’m definitely bringing a white towel with me!

  • Ross in Maine

    Jay P, I generally enjoy your posts, but give me a break, you sound like a high school principle. I think Jason sums up the entire situation quite rationally. Unprofessional, sure, but a fine? If he league gets any more heavy handed, they’ll self destruct. It may be a bush-league comment, but as far as I’m concerned, Stu/Sterns (the SS) are the worst things that have happened to pro basketball in 25 years, maybe ever. uh-oh, I better take that back before the league fines me.

  • It’s principal for school officials. Ned Flanders once said he put the PAL in principal. Sounds like something Mr. Belding should have said.

  • Jay P


    Not saying I’m a huge Stern fan by any margin. But if you look at the state of the league prior to his reign, it’d be hard to argue he’s been the “worst thing for the NBA.”

    The league was falling apart back then, and granted you can say it’s revival had more to do with Magic and Larry than it did with David Stern. But Stern has been a hell of a marketing guy who has taken a lot of flack and turned a lot of positives over the years.

    Where do you draw a line is what it comes down to though, if you let any GM get away with any type of behavior like that, what’s next? Can we all envision Mark Cuban coming in with an Airhorn and camping underneath the hoop?

    I’m obviously using a good deal of sarcasm here… but the point is, you need to set precedent before you get another GM/executive who decides maybe he just wants some publicity, or maybe he can take things a step further.

  • James Patrick

    David Stern and Stu Jackson are seriously fine happy. I understand trying to protect the integrity of the game, but you can’t muzzle people which is what it appears they are trying to do and now this? Tell me how many times Mark Cuban has done something over the top? Yeah, he gets fined too, but it still doesn’t make it right. Someone needs to address this.

  • Jason

    Fine happy exactly. Is it really any harder to issue an internal memo to the front offices saying “Hey, this is overboard. Let’s clean it up. We don’t want to have to police this kind of thing if at all necessary”? But, it seems they are all too happy to police this pretty innocuous incident. Front office people are all professional, reasonable people. They don’t need to be riot policed. Are they really afraid of escalation? Yes, apparently Stern has never seen a “slippery slope” he didn’t need to drive people away from with brimstone and fire. Just ridiculous.

  • Jay P

    I don’t disagree with any of that. They are extremely fine happy, and numerous examples are out of there of fines that have just been ludicrous.

    My only point was to say that in this one case, with Ainge, they needed to set a precedent, to make sure next time, no GM tried to take it to another level (and for that matters, know they wont get away with even minor things… like towel throwing.)

  • Alex

    in boston tonight everyone sitting behind the backboard needs to be givin a white towel in recognition of our boy,Danny Ainge, and during every foul shot cleveland takes they should toss the towels in the air

  • Eric

    It’s a goddamned towel.