Raptors' Ujiri Fined $25,000 By NBA For Saturday Expletive Directed At Nets
The NBA will fine Raptors President of Basketball Operations & GM Masai Ujiri $25,000 for saying “'F--- Brooklyn' at the end of his speech to several thousand fans at a pep rally outside Air Canada Centre" before Saturday's first-round playoff game against the Nets, according to Bontemps & Kerber of the N.Y. POST. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "issued the fine after reconsidering his initial decision not to fine Ujiri, but instead give him a warning." After apologizing at halftime of Saturday's contest, Ujiri did so "once again in a radio interview" yesterday morning. Ujiri said, “My mom taught me better than that.” He added that he had also "apologized to the NBA, the Nets organization" and to Nets GM Billy King. Ujiri said that the moment was "meant to be part of trying to establish a new mentality in Toronto." Ujiri: "To me, it was about us, and trying to build a culture here where we believe in ourselves. We are who we are" (N.Y. POST, 4/22). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "If you listed all the general managers in the league … and you said who was the least likely to be involved in something like this, Masai would be that guy. He's the most sober thinking, right-minded person." Wilbon added team execs and coaches "should never go" to fan rallies, as attendees "want you to say something that is going to incite them." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "I don't think it deserves real outrage, but I do think it deserves a real fine" ("PTI," ESPN, 4/21). ESPN's Dan Le Batard said, "I wish he hadn't apologized for that. They've got 10,000 people outside of the arena. He was trying to fire them up. He did fire them up. Don't apologize" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN, 4/21).