Updates from Tuesday, April 22
Eric Koreen of NationalPost.com provides a statement from Masai Ujiri discussing his comments towards the Nets on Metro Morning on CBC Radio:
Ujiri: "I was trying to deliver a message. The message [had] the wrong choice of words. ... I also apologize to every GM in the NBA."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) April 22, 2014
Ujiri says he felt a bit disrespected by Nets' resting stars, and the league virtually ignoring the Raps. "No more us on the side."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) April 22, 2014
Ujiri: "It's really not about the series. It's about us moving forward as a team. ... It's not about Brooklyn."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) April 22, 2014
Ujiri: "I'm going to stand up for the team from now until I'm not here anymore."— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) April 22, 2014
Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri's recent outburst toward the Brooklyn Nets will make his wallet lighter after all.
But USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt reported later in the evening that commissioner Adam Silver changed his mind and will now fine Ujiri $25,000:
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has reconsidered Raptors GM Masai Ujiri's use of the f-word and will fine him $25,000.— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) April 22, 2014
For the uninitiated, Ujiri was speaking to a crowd of fans prior to Saturday's NBA playoff series opener between the Raptors and Brooklyn Nets when he dropped an "f-bomb" in the direction of Brooklyn.
While talking to reporters at halftime, he explained himself and offered an apology, via Stein:
Wrong choice of words out there. It is really not about me. It is about the players and the playoffs.
Just trying to get the crowd out there rattled—wrong choice of words. I apologize to kids out there and to the Brooklyn guys. Nothing against them. Just trying to get our fans going. That's it.
His use of profanity in the heat of the moment to fire up a crowd before the franchise's first playoff appearance in six years certainly isn't the worst thing in the world, but as Grantland's Zach Lowe alluded to at the time of the incident, it was also slightly unprofessional:
I guess Ujiri's remark was a breach of professionalism, but did anyone really care? Was anyone upset?— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) April 19, 2014
The worst part was arguably his decision to target an entire city or fanbase, and those from Brooklyn will likely be in favor of the fine.
As some will speculate, perhaps Ujiri's clean track record had something to do with the NBA's initial decision.
Overall, it will be interesting to see whether the NBA continues to tread lightly in situations like this in the future.