James Fined $15000 for Obscene Gesture, Warned for Language

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The NBA fined LeBron James $15,000 for an obscene gesture on Friday and cautioned him not to use profanity in the future.

On Wednesday night, James made the gesture after making a shot late in Los Angeles’ 124-116 overtime victory over Indiana.

He had missed a defeat at New York the night before after receiving a one-game suspension for striking Detroit center Isaiah Stewart in the face and drawing blood last Sunday. When discussing the ban in his postgame interview following the victory in Indiana, he used profanity.

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The NBA also fined Portland’s Robert Covington $15,000 on Friday for tossing his facemask at a referee on Wednesday. He was called for a technical foul and removed with 49 seconds remaining in the second quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 125-121 loss in Sacramento.

“In response to league-imposed discipline, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has been fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture on the playing court and warned for using profane language during media availability, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations,” the NBA said in a statement Friday.

Representatives for LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers did not immediately reply to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

After receiving his first-ever ban earlier this week for his on-court fight with the Detroit Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart, the Lakers star was also handed a warning for using vulgar language in the media. According to CBS Sports, James termed the one-game punishment “bull—” during a news conference.

The incident started during Sunday’s game when James elbowed Stewart, 20, above the eye as they were both waiting for a rebound from the free throw line. When James noticed he had struck the player, who was bleeding around the brow, he apologized. Stewart then shoved James, forcing them away from each other, just as the court was filled with teammates and staff members.

Stewart was suspended for two days for aggravating the situation, which was James’ first suspension in his 18-year career and only his second ejection from a game. Both players were suspended indefinitely without pay.

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