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Following the Celtics’ Wednesday loss to the Pistons in Detroit, Glen “Big Baby” Davis was assessed a $25,000 fine by the NBA. It seems that in the first half, a Pistons fan by the name of Scott Zack (the worst combination of two first names since Ricky Bobby) jeered Davis with the types of taunts normally overheard on schoolyards across America, directed at smart kids with a future. Davis responded in kind, which prompted Zack to tell on him, to Palace of Auburn Hills security. Zack quickly realized he was acting like an idiot and calmed down, as did Davis, but the NBA conducted an investigation and levied the fine.
$25,000 seems like a lot for using the 1st Amendment to defend your honor. True, the jawing started to get unnecessarily out of hand quickly. That’s what happens when you serve horribly overpriced beers at ball games. Still, $25,000? That’s way too much when the rest of us look at it, but as a percentage of income for athletes (who also make way too much), it’s chump change.
Because they won’t even feel it, athletes are not given enough incentive to change. Make them sit out a quarter when they’re needed, or a whole game. That’ll stand a better chance of getting through. Besides, as we remember from past sports fines, U.S. Tax Code Title 26162 says, “There shall be allowed as a deduction all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business.” As we remember, this includes player fines such as Davis’, so the fine really won’t be much of an incentive in the long run.
The Celtics are in a hole. I know it. You know it. Every team member knows it. Davis can’t afford to get in more trouble with playoff dreams on the line. We all know opposing fans boo the other team, and Davis’ reaction to what he had to know was coming can reasonably be considered an isolated difference.
Therefore, Davis and the team will try to keep their cool and concentrate on getting better and getting better fast. If it doesn’t work out as quickly as they would like, perhaps frustration will set in. Sheed is still known for his technical fouls and trash talking, after all. The bottom line is, changing is easy, staying changed is the hard part. Fortunately, Davis doesn’t seem to have much to change.