Anthony Davis was fined $15,000 by the NBA this week after a video that showed him "directing an obscene gesture toward a fan" began circulating online

By Maria Pasquini
April 05, 2019 03:30 PM
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Anthony Davis
| Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis has been fined $15,000 by the NBA after video showed the basketball star giving the middle finger to a fan.

Following the team’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Davis, 26, was seen flipping off a fan as he exited the Pelicans’ Smoothie King Arena. It is not immediately clear in the video what prompted the gesture.

According to CBS Sports, Davis — who has spent a lot of time on the bench after requesting to be traded from the team — did not play in the game.

The following day, the NBA announced they had fined the player “for directing an obscene gesture toward a fan” as he was leaving the court.

Although the video does not show what led to the interaction, NOLA.com reported that according to multiple sources, Davis had been provoked by a fan, with one source saying the player had been told “(expletive) you, AD!”

Fan account Pelicans Wave later posted a screenshot from an alleged direct message conversation with Davis, where the NBA player reportedly wrote that “some fan disrespected me” and “said something I didn’t like.”

Anthony Davis
| Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is the second time this year that Davis has been fined by the NBA.

In January, the player was fined $50,000 after his agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN that Davis would not be signing a contract extension with the Pelicans.

Paul went on to tell the outlet that his client “wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship.”

In explanation of the fine, the NBA said Davis had violated a “collectively-bargained rule prohibiting players or their representatives from making public trade demands,” USA Today reported.

According to ESPN, $50,000 is the most an NBA player can be fined without being allowed to file a grievance.

The previous year — after Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who shares the same agent as Davis, made a comment about how he’d love to play with the Pelicans star — the NBA sent out a memo reminding teams not to violate the league’s “anti-tampering rule,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

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Although there’s a long history of heckling when it comes to sports, basketball fans are increasingly being held accountable when their comments cross the line.

Last month, the Utah Jazz issued two lifetime bans over separate incidents involving Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook, according to the Washington Post. The outlet reported that one incident stemmed from a fan calling Westbrook “boy” during the 2018 playoffs, while another stemmed from a verbal altercation he got into with a fan during a March 11 game.

Following the game, the point guard, 30, spoke to reporters, claiming that he was provoked to defend himself after a pair of hecklers told him to “get down on my knees like I used to” — a comment he felt was not only “completely disrespectful,” but also a “racial” attack on him and his family.

Despite the action taken against the hecklers, Westbrook, who verbally threatened to “f— up” the pair during the altercation, was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his comments.

In March, the Boston Celtics also reportedly issued a temporary ban against a fan who allegedly used a racial slur against Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins earlier this year.