Delonte West was knocked down with a $25,000 fine. (Getty Images)
It turns out sticking your finger into the ear of Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward during an NBA game, as Dallas Mavericks guard Delonte West did Monday night, costs $25,000. So get your Kickstarter game on point, I guess, ear weirdos.
(Let us remember that, dominant reporting aside, it is not a "wet willy" unless you wet your finger, which West did not do, and it is not a "dry willy," because that somehow sounds even grosser than the other thing.)
That's a considerable sum even for someone making many times that for a single season of NBA work; as a result, even though he was clearly in the wrong on the infraction in question, it wouldn't have been shocking if West had decided to exercise his collectively bargained right to appeal the fine levied by the commissioner's office through the National Basketball Players Association. It would be like showing up to the court date for your speeding ticket, even though you know you were lead-footed, just to see if you had a nice judge in a good mood who'd slash your summons in half.
Instead, though, West decided against raising a stink, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:
"When you've been to the principal's office," West said, "you don't really want to go back and see that ruler again." [...]
At least he didn't lose his sense of humor over the fine, which is considerable since he makes the NBA veteran's minimum of $1.18 million.
"I didn't think it was going to be that steep," West said before Wednesday's game against Houston. "That's a whole month's check for me. I probably won't have cable in a couple days."
Wow, that is steep. At this point, though, you can watch pretty much anything you want to on your computer, so West's probably straight. Netflix even has a whole Animal Planet genre, which is big for Delonte, since we know he loves animals.
Also, as Sefko notes, the fine actually amounts to only about 2 1/2 games worth of West's 2011-12 salary, so he'll probably be able to get back up to the premium package in no time flat. And that's important, because he probably doesn't want to miss a single second of HBO's new hit series "Girls."
Most importantly, according to Sefko, West understands where he ran afoul of the law ... or, at least, the law as it is exists today.
"But the way the league is now, I'm not questioning anything. It's a play that shouldn't be in the game. It's not a good example to set for the youth that we're trying to teach to play the right way."
Two nights earlier, West was being sarcastic about the way discipline was meted out — "I forgot, the NBA is a gentleman's game so we've got to fight and scrap and do it nicely" — but on Wednesday night, he understood that the punishment had to be what it was because it's about the kids. See, it's all about being adaptable, guys.
Anyway, Delonte's punishment isn't all that bad — he still got to suit up for the Mavs in their huge Wednesday win over the Houston Rockets and will continue to be able to do so as Dallas fights for playoff positioning in the season's final week. Beyond that, though, he got to continue having 10 fingers rather than having one of them ripped off by a floppy-haired dude named Gordon. You really can't put a price tag on that.
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