It is common for NBA players to celebrate after a big shot or a nasty dunk. It is one way to let their emotions out. Sometimes these emotions get too hot to handle that they show off a celebration the NBA does not want the whole world to see. Here are some of those celebrations the league immediately slapped with a hefty fine.
LeBron James' Big Balls - 15k
Last season, the Lakers 124-116 win over the Indiana Pacers was one of the few bright spots of the Purple and Gold's shaky year. LeBron James had it cooking the entire night as he capped it off with 39 points. After knocking down a 3-pointer to put his team up by six points with over a minute left, James walked back to the other end of the court in a somewhat awkward fashion. The man pulled out a modified "Big Balls celebration." The Pacers commentator was quick to notice James' antics. Of course, the NBA has its eyes locked on the King every single time. They slapped him with a $15,000 fine.
James' dance served as a history lesson for fans since the iconic guard Sam Cassell is actually the innovator of the taunt. The likes of Kobe Bryant, Klay Thomspon, Fred VanVleet, and Jameer Nelson followed suit. So James paid homage to all the big ballers that came before him. He probably knew he was going to get fined. But $15,000 won't make even a dent in his wallet.
Jimmy Butler's Hump - 15k
The hilarious thing about this incident is that Jimmy Butler was not on the floor when he started celebrating. He was along the sidelines in casual clothes, nursing an injury. Perhaps these details made Butler think that no cameras would be on him and, therefore, he could do whatever he wanted. Little did he know that the NBA has its cameras pointed at each team's respective star at all times. Besides, Butler has one of the most interesting personalities in the NBA. The man is very marketable.
The second hilarious thing about the incident is after the NBA fined him $15,000, Butler blamed head coach Erik Spoelstra for it. According to Butler, Spo encourages them to celebrate their teammates' successes. Butler was simply following his coach's instructions.
Dwyane Wade's Cutthroat - 25k
Dwyane Wade's stint with the Chicago Bulls has been drowned out in history because it didn't meet high expectations. However, Wade did have some memorable moments with his hometown team. One of them was when the NBA fined him $25,000 for a cutthroat celebration. The celebration looks cool. But the NBA hates cool. They just want their players to play ball. Wade, being a classy guy, immediately apologized for his actions.
Gerald Green's Trigger Finger - 25k
Just like Wade, Green celebrated by making a cutthroat gesture. Before that, he took out his imaginary gun and started shooting the Wizards' bench. Green did the gun-shooting celebration twice. For all his antics, the NBA slapped him with a $25,000 fine for "making menacing gestures."
Green was caught up in his emotions. To clarify, he joined the Heat in the 2015-16 NBA Season — their second season without LeBron James. So the team and the entire city had this chip on their shoulders. They wanted to prove they could win without James. Green was simply fired up by the crowd's and the entire team's desperation to win.
Dwight Howard Finger Tongue - 35k
Dwight Howard is one of the goofiest NBA players in history. The league loves it when players show off more of their personalities. But as always, there are limits to everything. Players cannot just celebrate by making an obscenely subliminal gesture to the crowd.
It's interesting to know what led Howard to stick his tongue out that way to the Cavs fans. Does he hate them? Had they been nagging Dwight the entire game? Or did Dwight suddenly get flashbacks from "after-hours" activity last night? Whatever the case, Howard's finger tongue celebration deserves to be added to his long list of hilarious antics.
Dikembe Mutumbo's Finger Wag - 5k every time
Whereas the other players on this list were fined for a single incident, Dikembe Mutumbo was fined every time he did his signature celebration: the finger wag. The NBA, particularly then NBA Commission David Stern, wanted Mutumbo to stop this little taunt. But Mutumbo kept on doing it. He didn't mind taking out $5,000 for every finger wag. Stern even personally requested that he stop his antics. But Mutumbo did not fold. Eventually, the NBA allowed the legendary shot blocker to carry on under one condition: make the finger wag at the fans and not on your opponent's face.