NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson announced on Thursday that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was fined $25,000 for his Game 2 towel-waiving incident which occurred with 1:53 remaining in the third quarter of the Celtics' 104-86 victory over Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Ainge, sitting in the first seat to the right of Cleveland's basket, reached behind the stanchion to grab one of the ball boy's towels as Cleveland forward J.J. Hickson prepared to shoot a free throw. Ainge then tossed the towel into the air on Hickson's second attempt.
At the time, the Celtics were leading 80-57. Hickson made his second free throw.
The official reason for the fine states that Ainge was fined for "creating an unauthorized distraction and for conduct detrimental to the game."
What is an authorized distraction you ask?
A team mascot and/or cheerleaders waiving a towel behind the basket is fine with the league, no pun intended.
The real reason behind the fine is that the NBA does not want general managers of teams using props to create distractions during games.
Boston coach Doc Rivers joked after practice on Thursday that Ainge should have put on Lucky's uniform (Lucky is the Celtics mascot) and then he would have gotten away with it.
"I was surprised actually of the fine," Rivers said. "A lot of people were not but I was because he's just an employee. What's the difference between that and the mascots who do it all the time. I'm just wondering if Danny had worn Lucky's outfit if he would have gotten away from [the fine]."
Rivers also said that he was not surprised by Ainge's actions during the game.
"Danny is as competitive of a person I've ever met in my life," Rivers said. "They were making a run and you could see them getting into the game and he couldn't do anything about it. He feels like me sitting ont he sidelines sometimes and it was just really funny to me.
"The $25,000, that's not very funny. I guarunte that. The joke is over now."