If the NBA league office is a parent, it’s the kind of parent who tells the kid, “This hurts me more than it hurts you.”
Gerald Wallace is still out $10,000, though.
The Celtics veteran was fined this week for uttering an expletive after Boston’s lopsided loss to Houston. But that wasn’t the entire story: While the league did fine Wallace, it also apparently let him know it understood why he felt the need to let the profanity fly.
Wallace told reporters how the fine was handed out.
“They read to me what I said,” Wallace said, “and then just told me, ‘OK then, well, we understand you’re having a rough season. Hope your season gets better,’ and hung up the phone.”
A rough season is correct. The Celtics started off 0-4 — worse than even their low preseason expectations — but then ripped off four wins in a row, including a victory in Miami over the defending champion Heat. There were murmurs that this team could be pretty decent, and could be making its way — until the Celtics then lost another five in a row, with Wallace’s words coming after the fourth in that string.
Boston is rebuilding under new coach Brad Stevens, with Wallace brought in during the team’s offloading of stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The team is struggling to produce with its young core while point guard Rajon Rondo continues to recover from ACL surgery.
Or, as parents like to say, it’s been a character-building season.
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