Following Game 5 of the Heat Pacers Conference Finals, three players, including Lebron James, were fined by the NBA for flopping (aka diving).
Great news right? For years fans and analysts have been moaning about players flopping, slowing down and cheapening the game. Finally the NBA is taking a stand! Great right? Not quite.
Lebron’s fine: $5,000.
Now to me, that may be a life-altering fine. To the world’s greatest basketball player, not so much. I decided to see exactly how much the fine would impact James’ bank account.
Lebron played 76 games in the regular season, amassing 2,880 minutes. Add to that 532 minutes in the playoffs, and James has totaled 3,412 minutes of basketball this season.
As one of the Heat’s ‘Big-Three’, Lebron banks $17,545,000 this year.
A quick use of the calculator on my iPhone tells me that Lebron’s salary thus far has earned him $5,142/minute this season so far.
For argument’s sake, let’s take Lebron’s average minutes in the playoff and project that over 3 more games in the Pacers series, and a 7-game finals. The per-minute earnings dip to a mere $4,591.
So the NBA effectively fined Lebron James a minute of his time on court. Ouch(!).
So while Lebron James takes the time to reach behind the driver’s seat in his Escalade to amass the change needed for his fine, I encourage the NBA to take the time to assess how much of a punishment the fine really is.