On Friday night in Orlando, the Wizards got into it with the Magic in a fairly standard loose ball shoving match. This sort of thing happens all the time and is quickly forgotten, just like how Joel Embiid and Richard Jefferson got into a dust-up over a block/charge moment earlier today. What makes a moment like that last beyond the on-court emotions is when someone goes over the top, as Bradley Beal did when he grabbed Evan Fournier by the throat in the scrum.
That sort of contact is a huge no-no for the league, but it apparently didn’t last long enough for it to be considered a choke. That leaves some gray area, and in a decision handed down on Sunday, it appears the NBA gave Beal the benefit of the doubt, hitting him with nothing more than a $15,000 fine.
It’s slightly surprising that Beal avoided a suspension, considering what a point of emphasis violent brawling has been for the league in the last decade or so. Then again, it’s not the league of David Stern’s disciplinary hammer any more, and Beal doesn’t have any sort of reputation. Reputation goes a long way, as Sacramento Kings fans will tell you:
Perception counts for a lot in the NBA.