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Without comment, NBA fines Nets $25,000 for ‘failing to comply’ with injury reporting rules

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Late Thursday afternoon, the NBA announced that the Nets had been fined $25,000 for “failure to comply with league policies governing injury reporting.”

The fine was a small one by NBA standards and although the NBA did not specify why the Nets were fined, it was clear the issue was the Nets decision to sit eight of its players — essentially its entire rotation — against the Pacers Saturday night. The Nets of course won that game, 136-133, led by Cam Thomas’ 33 points and Day’Ron Sharpe’s 20 and 12 double-double.

The Nets came under criticism from fans who had purchased tickets for the game expecting to see stars like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, felt short-changed. Jacque Vaughn defended the move prior to the game. In fact on Friday, after the Nets beat the Hawks in the first half of a back-to-back, Vaughn had signaled Nets players, including possibly Durant, might sit.

“I think everything that’s been reported today has been documented,” Vaughn said prior to Saturday’s game in defending the move. “And so we know that Seth [Curry] and Joe [Harris] had offseason ankle [surgeries], there’s no argument to that. Nic [Claxton] didn’t play last game because he had hamstring tightness, there’s no argument to that. Kevin’s leading the league in minutes, there’s no argument to that. Royce [O’Neale] had a personal reason, he’s missing the next game, there’s no argument to that.”

Vaughn also apologized to Pacers fans.

“I would say to that fan that I’m looking out for Kevin Durant’s future,” Vaughn said. “I’m looking out for the organization’s future. And really apologize if this was the game you chose. But he’s given all that he’s had in every game since the beginning of this season.”

The league has been wary about teams holding out large numbers of players, particularly superstars like Durant and Irving.