NBA fines Heat, Jimmy Butler for 'obscene gesture', Markieff Morris for game interference

Last updated April 29, 2022

While the Miami Heat had to play Game 5 without star forward Jimmy Butler, the franchise eventually had to thank the player for making his presence felt despite suffering from knee inflammation.

Butler was fined $15,000 for the obscene gesture he made while celebrating three-pointers by teammate forward Max Strus in the second quarter.

The NBA announced recently this week on Thursday that the player’s “thrusting” gesture on the bench led to punishment. The 32-year-old was not the only one fined that night as both Miami and fellow forward Markieff Morris had to receive penalties as well. The fines for Miami and its players equal $55,000.

NBA fines Butler, Heat

For Butler, the incident took place with only 1:43 remaining in the second quarter as Miami took on the lead over Atlanta.

Strus’ three-pointers gave the franchise a quarter lead. The three-pointers were part of the Heat’s 17-0 run alongside the player’s 10-0 personal run. Butler appeared to have some fun with his obscene gesture as the player celebrated his teammate’s successful three-pointers.

However, the cost of the gesture for him and the Heat, who posted it as a GIF on social media, which now has been deleted, was $30,000 in fine. Despite other Miami players laughing at the display, the incident was not accepted by the league.

“Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler has been fined $15,000 for making an obscene gesture, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations. The Heat organization has also been fined $15,000 for posting the act on social media,” NBA in a statement.

“The incident, which took place from the team’s bench area, occurred with 1:43 remaining in the second quarter in the Heat’s 97-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on April 26 at FTX Arena.”

NBA is known for being strict, particularly throughout the playoffs. The league appears to have been on the move to crack down on profanities. Both Butler and the organization learned it the hard way.

NBA calls on technical foul, fines Morris

Morris was also included on NBA’s naughty list on Tuesday night. The 32-year-old was called for a technical foul after grabbing Atlanta forward De’Andre Hunter. The NBA deemed his action as direct interference and blatant behavior that violates the league’s rules. In Morris’ case, the NBA fined him $25,000.

“Miami Heat forward Markieff Morris has been fined $25,000 for interfering with live game play while on the bench, in violation of league rules, it was announced today by Byron Spruell, President, League Operations,” NBA added in a statement.

“Morris, who was not in the game at the time, grabbed and held Atlanta Hawks guard De’Andre Hunter out of bounds, which prevented Hunter from completely reestablishing himself inbounds as he caught a pass from a teammate. Morris received an unsportsmanlike technical foul for his actions. The incident occurred with 7:06 remaining in the third quarter in Miami’s 97-94 win over the Hawks in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series on April 26 at FTX Arena.”

However, for Miami, eliminating Atlanta from the first round of the playoff is worth a celebration still as head coach Erik Spoelstra sang high praise for Butler and co.

"They just infused just great life into our guys," Spoelstra said. "And particularly when it got a little bit uneven, guys were just coming back to the bench and they see Jimmy and Kyle right there in the mix, it's hard not to gain confidence from that."

Jake Williams
Jake Williams is a sports gambling expert. He's been writing in the sports betting and DFS industry for over a decade. He specializes in MLB and NBA, along with College Basketball and College Football.