The NBA has finally rendered judgment on Memphis Grizzlies wing Dillion Brooks for his run-in with a camera operator during an ill-fated bout with the Miami Heat earlier this week.
As announced by the league office on Friday, Brooks has been fined $35,000 for “the unsportsmanlike act of shoving a camera person on the sideline” while pursuing a loose ball during the 138-119 loss.
Some had been calling for a stiffer punishment for Brooks, and there is something of a precident there. When Dennis Rodman kicked a camera operator while playing for the Chicago Bulls in 1997, he was suspended for 11 games without pay in addition to receiving a $25,000 fine.
Essentially, the kick cost Rodman a cool million in salary. The Hall of Famer also paid the camera person a $200,000 settlement.
In an update posted to Twitter, Heat radio commentator Jason Jackson wrote that the longtime Heat camera operator that Brooks shoved “was injured & remains under evaluation.” Added Jackson: “The fine was on point, but the max would have felt like a sliver of justice after disregard for another human…”
Former NBA player/SiriusXM host Antonio Daniels agreed, tweeting: “If that was a fan he would’ve received the max. The league has to take care of their own too.”
Brooks’ fine falls short of matching even his single-game salary, which checks in at approximately $139,000. As such, some are equating his punishment to a single-quarter suspension.
Cody Zeller Undergoes Surgical Procedure
As reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Adam Lichtenstein and others, Heat center Cody Zeller had surgery on his broken nose on Friday. Coach Erik Spoelstra maintains that the 30-year-old should be back in the lineup in short order, however.
“Everything looks encouraging,” Spoelstra said. “I know what he wants to do and I know, based on previous history of guys with these kinds of procedures, it will be sooner than later. But you just have to see how the swelling is and all that. He does have his old mask, so that will be a good thing.”
Zeller — who suffered the same injury last season while playing for the Portland Trail Blazers — was sidelined during last Saturday’s game against the Orlando Magic when he caught an inadvertent blow to the face from guard Jalen Suggs.
Over 10 games as a member of the Heat this season, Zeller has put up 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest while sinking 51.7% of his shot attempts. Meanwhile, the Heat have only given up 108.1 points per 100 possessions defensively when he has been on the floor.
Heat Hold Steady in B/R’s Latest NBA Power Rankings
The folks at Bleacher Report updated their Association power rankings for March 17. And while the Heat have won three times in four tries — with the sole loss coming in overtime, on the road and on the wrong end of a back-to-back against a scrappy Magic squad — they remained in the No. 11 spot.
Wrote B/R’s Andy Bailey:
The Miami Heat had a rough stretch in mid-February and early March, but they appear to be back on track now.
After cruising past the Memphis Grizzlies, 138-119, on Wednesday, Miami is now 5-2 in its last seven. And its two stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have been stellar in this stretch.
The former is averaging 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals in those seven games, while the latter is at 19.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 61.6 percent from the field.