Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for making an obscene gesture toward an official following the team’s 112-109 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday.
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James made an obscene gesture to the bench after made a layup with 5.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter, a play that allowed him to score 18 points in the game and bring the Lakers back from a 17-point deficit.
The cameras showed the two officials on the court pointed at James as he made the step-back jumper but there was no flagrant foul called.
“I don’t know if it was a flagrant or a tech,” James said. “As I look at it now, I don’t know what the call was, obviously. It is what it is. I was just being myself, and I don’t regret it.”
Fellow veteran Dwyane Wade added: “LeBron was joking, for lack of a better term. You do stuff like that, it just shows how competitive he is. I know he made it a point and stated it again tonight that he was joking. It doesn’t matter. It’s his nature. Everybody has their own way of responding and he’s got a ways that he knows how to respond to.”
LeBron James scored 18 points in the Lakers’ Game 2 win over the Celtics. Photograph: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images
The NBA review found James made an obscene gesture and improper celebration after making a layup.
James, a four-time NBA MVP, played on a Cavaliers team that lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals. He signed a four-year contract worth $154m with the Lakers before the 2018-19 season.