Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield has been fined £20,380 ($25,000) by the NBA for ‘making an obscene gesture on the playing court’ after he was spotted giving the middle finger during the team’s 115-109 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
Cameras spotted the 30-year-old making the gesture on three occasions, initially discreetly as he attempted to mask his displeasure with the unknown recipient by scratching his nose. Hield quickly followed up his attempt with two further overt signals.
And despite not being on the floor when the incident took place during the second quarter of the Pacer’s game in Charlotte, the former three-point contest champ was slapped with a healthy fine.
A brief statement from the NBA read: “Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield has been fined $25,000 for making an obscene gesture on the playing court, it was announced today by Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations.”
Hield is unlikely to lose much sleep over the hefty sum handed down to him on account of the £77 million ($94 million) extension he signed in 2019. He is far from alone in getting a swearing tax with players like Draymond Green, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving all receiving fines from the league in recent seasons.
In fact, Sports Illustrated estimated NBA players forked out a total of £77,437 ($95,000) on swearing fines during the 2021/22 season, the most the league has issued in 20 years. Green, who was fined the same amount as Hield but in 2022 for brandishing two middle fingers at Memphis Grizzlies fans, was more than happy to pay the price for his gesture.
“I’ll take the fine. I’ll go do an appearance and make up the money,” he said after the event. “But it felt really good to flip ’em off. If they’re going to be that nasty, I will be nasty too. I’m assuming the cheers was because they know I’ll be fined. Great, I make $25 million a year, I should be just fine.”
Buddy Hield is currently averaging 17.1 points, 5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his first full campaign with the Pacers having spent five years with the Sacramento Kings. The roster are currently out of play-off contention all together, sitting 11th in the Eastern Conference standings two games back on the Chicago Bulls who occupy the final lay-in spot.