NBA Imposes $100,000 Fine on Nets for Breaking League’s Player Participation Policy

After resting four players during the team’s Dec. 27 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets became the first team to face disciplinary action from the NBA on Thursday. They also received a $100,000 fine for the infraction.

The four players who were benched—Spencer Dinwiddie, Nic Claxton, Cam Johnson, and Dorian Finney-Smith—could have played under the new policy’s medical standard, according to an investigation that the league released in a news release announcing the fine.

“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 before this season,” stated the statement.

NBA Imposes $100,000 Fine on Nets for Breaking League's Player Participation Policy (1)

“The organization’s conduct violated the Policy, which is intended to promote player participation in the NBA’s 82-game season.”

Jacque Vaughn, the coach of the Nets, was asked if he thought of the contest as an “exhibition game” during his postgame news conference.

“I have too much respect for the dudes that suit up and put their body on the line and the competition level to even mention the word ‘exhibition,’” added Vaughn. “With one play tonight, any guy might have terminated their career. And that is how I handled it.”

The Nets have now dropped four games in a row after losing this one 144–122.

After suffering defeats in their previous 12 games, they are now 15–17 overall and ranked ninth in the Eastern Conference.

Aiming to target players who have been All-Stars or members of the All-NBA team in any of the previous three seasons, the new policy was put into place before the start of the season. According to those rules, only one participant can be removed from a game at a time.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated in September that “everyone in the league shares this view, it’s not just coming from the league office.”

“I believe there’s a recognition around the league that we need to go back to the idea that this is an 82-game league, regardless of our teams, our players’ association, or certain players. There seems to be a guiding principle in this league that says that players should be expected to participate if they are healthy.”

Teams who break the policy, such as the Nets, will be penalized $100,000 for the first time. The penalty for the second offense is $250,000, and it will rise by $1 million for each additional infraction.

This article was assisted by the Associated Press.

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