06 Jan

Nets fined $100,000 for violating NBA’s player participation policy in loss to Bucks

The Brooklyn Nets have been fined $100,000 for violating the NBA’s player participation policy, the league announced on Thursday. This is the first time that a team has been fined under the league’s new guidelines, which were introduced this summer to reduce load management.

Brooklyn’s violation came on Dec. 27 when they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, 144-122. Prior to the game, Nic Claxton (left ankle sprain/injury maintenance), Spencer Dinwiddie (rest), Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee soreness) and Cameron Johnson (right knee sprain/injury maintenance) were ruled out, and none of Mikal Bridges, Royce O’Neale and Cam Thomas played after the first half.

“I’ve got to think short term and long term and make executive decisions for the betterment of the group,” Jacque Vaughn said prior to the game. “So that’s where we’re at tonight.”

While most observers were more upset about the latter decision, it was the former that got the Nets in trouble.

“Following an investigation, including review by an independent physician, the NBA determined that four Nets rotation players, who did not participate in the game, could have played under the medical standard in the Player Participation Policy, which was adopted prior to this season,” the league stated in its press release.

All four of Claxton, Dinwiddie, Finney-Smith and Johnson had played in the Nets’ previous game on Dec. 26 versus the Detroit Pistons. Likewise, they all suited up in the team’s next game on Dec. 30 against the Washington Wizards.

Teams fined for breaking the player participation policy are fined $100,00 for the first offense, $250,000 for the second offense and $1 million for any subsequent offenses. Per the collective bargaining agreement, 50% of the fines accrued from these violations will go to the NBA Players Association.

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“I think we’ll state this principle, see how teams react and see if more needs to be done,” Adam Silver said in September, when the new rules, which also include a 65-game threshold for players to win major awards, were approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors. “But I think, most importantly, there’s a sense from all the different constituent groups in the league that this is ultimately about the fans and that we’ve taken this too far.

“I mean, this is an acknowledgment that it’s gotten away from us a bit, particularly I think when you see young, healthy players who are resting. It becomes maybe even more notion of stature around the league as opposed to absolute needed rest — or it’s just part of being an NBA player that you rest on certain days — and that’s what we’re trying to move away from.”

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