LeBron James is picking up the tab for the second straight post-season, after his teammate, Dahntay Jones, picked up back-to-back technical fouls against the Toronto Raptors’ Norman Powell.
Last year, Jones was fined $80.17 of his $8,800 salary for hitting Bismack Biyombo in the groin at the end of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. But, before Jones went to pay the fine, it was already taken care of by Lebron.
This time, Jones was charged and ejected for trash-talking, late in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night. According to ESPN, with each technical comes a $3,000 fine. However, with Jones, who just signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers on the last day of the regular season, only making $9,127 in salary, a $6,000 fine could have put a dent in his pockets. However, thanks to James, he didn’t have to worry about it.
“And I told him tonight,” James recalled. “I said, ‘Listen, Dahntay, now enough is enough. Stop getting kicked out against Toronto all the time. I’m going to stop paying your damn fines.’ But yeah, he don’t have to worry about it. He’s good.”
As for the mild altercation with Powell that got Jones ejected, many believe it had a bit to do with the league’s unwritten mercy rule, which has sparked a lot of confrontation this post-season, so far.
“It really wasn’t that intricate,” Jones told ESPN. “I don’t know what happened. All I said was, ‘You better not jump,’ and that got me the first tech. And then the second one, Norman walked up on me and said, ‘Don’t you do that s**t!’ And I said, ‘What are you going to do?’ Like, ‘What you goin’ to do?’ And that’s two. So those are the exact words I said: ‘What are you going to do?’ No curse words.”
Jones slammed down a dunk, bringing the Cleveland team’s lead from 12 to 14 with just seconds left in the game. But, he feels his dunk was not in poor taste against the unwritten rule.
“I got the dunk because they pressed,” Jones said of his slam. “And we turned the ball over before that. So I don’t understand what you want us to do, like, pull it out? Do you want us to pull it out, or do you want to keep attacking us? If you don’t want us to attack you, don’t attack us in that situation.”