Danny Ainge was fined $25,000 for trying to distract the Cavs' J.J. Hickson by throwing a towel during his free throws during Game 2. From ESPN:
While the NBA found Ainge's actions inappropriate, LeBron James didn't think he did anything wrong. "I think it's cool," the league's two-time MVP said after practice. "A GM or an owner like Mark Cuban and you see M.J. [Michael Jordan], those guys it's their team, they put the team together and they can have as much fun as they want to. I think it's cool. I mean, why not? I'm not opposed to it."
The Celtics were leading 80-57 at the time of Ainge's towel toss. Boston went on to win 104-86 to even the Eastern Conference semifinal at 1-1. On Wednesday, Ainge said he regretted his behavior, calling it "unprofessional." "I was having fun with the hecklers and the crowd that was sitting around me," Ainge said during an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI.
We've kinda gone back and forth on this all day in our mind as to whether we thought Ainge should be punished. We still remember Ainge's playing days, during which a teammate might have loved him and everyone else might have thought he was a [redacted]. Tossing a towel in the air seems like a childish, punkish thing to do -- especially for an executive from a team.
We have nothing against gamesmanship, but we prefer ours to be psychological digs instead of physical acts. Ultimately, we don't mind at all that Ainge's wallet is lighter because of all this.
But the best part of it is that it didn't even work. You'll notice Hickson misses the first free throw sans towel toss, then makes the second one with the white distraction flying through the air. Ainge is like the NFL coach that tries to ice the kicker by calling timeout 0.0001 seconds before the ball is snapped. Only the kicker misses that one and makes the real one.