An unnamed source told the AP that James made a “nasty” gesture after making a game-winning shot in overtime of Wednesday night’s game against the Pistons. James has not confirmed nor denied the reported actions, but did acknowledge that he paid the fine. The All-Star finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in a 119-113 victory, and became the first player ever to start his career with the Cavaliers, Lakers, and now the Heat.
“I’m not even worried about that,” James said. “You never know who puts the report out. But it’s not a distraction for me. I play the game to win.”
James has drawn criticism from some fans, and the Heat and Miami mayor’s office, for his frequent breakneck celebrations. Last year, he drew both condemnation and a $10,000 fine from the NBA for something he said. While playing for the Cavaliers, James said that he would scream at any player who called him out on the court, not letting on until he absolutely had to to their name. After his expletive outburst, James decided to take on “an even higher level” of care — in the form of a $10,000 fine. However, the star says that simply because he incites conversation about his reactions has no bearing on his dedication to play his game.
“I’m really glad that people are concerned about that. Because I feel like being worried about being fined every other day is the last thing that I would want to worry about or care about,” James said. “But it’s something that I do love to do.”
Even during his playing days, James was known for his histrionics, often showing off his famous dancing and post-game antics, and frequently engaging in taunts with opposing players. After a victory in his last matchup with the Heat, James started his post-game comments by proclaiming: “I don’t care what the system says I shouldn’t be doing, I’m gonna be doing it no matter what.”