By Ben Golliver
Blatant profanity is going to earn you a fine, no matter the circumstances. No matter if Chris Paul is breaking your ankles all over the court; no matter if you foul out in frustrating fashion; no matter if it's not your fault that the guy who is supposed to be starting is out with an injury; no matter if your $100 million payroll team just fell to 0-3 on the season.
The NBA announced Tuesday that Lakers guard Steve Blake has been fined $25,000 for "directing inappropriate language toward a fan" during the closing minute of a Friday night game between the Lakers and Clippers. Blake, who fouled out of the game with eight points on 2-for-6 shooting and two assists in 39 minutes, was caught on camera shouting a profanity at a Staples Center fan as he left the court with 29.2 seconds remaining in the Clippers' 105-95 win. After the initial profanity, Blake detoured to the sideline opposite the Lakers bench to engage directly with a fan seated courtside for an extended period of time. That conversation was impossible to miss and the league office is always watching.
It had been a frustrating night for Blake, who was starting for an injured Steve Nash. The Clippers controlled the game throughout and Paul finished with 18 points, 15 assists, six rebounds and three steals. On one late play, a Paul dribble move sent a helpless Blake crashing to the ground.
Blake, 32, is making $4 million this season.
Update (Wednesday): The Los Angeles Times reports that Blake apologized to the fan -- the son of Steve Jackson, founder of L.A. Gear -- who was reportedly heckling Blake about his jumper. Video via echavex1974