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Where does the money go when NBA players are fined?

The NBA tends to collect multiple millions of dollars every year through various different fines. But where this money goes is not always known. 

Where does the money go when NBA players are fined? When an NBA player is fined, half of the money goes to the National Basketball Players Association and the other half goes to the NBA. Both organisations tend to donate the money to charities of their choice. 

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Where the money goes after an NBA player is fined is one of the things that gets agreed upon in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The CBA says that the money from player fines is supposed to go to charity, something that we see quite a lot in professional sports. But there needs to be some decision on which charities the money goes to. 

So the CBA outlines that half of the money goes to the NBA and the other half goes to the NBA’s players association. The NBA Players association itself does not manage that money, that is why there is a National Basketball Players Association Foundation which is run by executive director Lyzz Ogunwo Isaac. 

This is not to say that the players don’t have any impact on where the money goes. New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum is the President of the NBPA Foundation and his vice president is former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala. Serge Ibaka also plays a big part in the foundation as a director, having been elected to the board in 2017. 

The NBPA uses this money for most of the NBA’s charitable endeavours and works with the charity partners that the league has. The money is spread through a range of long-term commitments and short-term grants. The NBPA Foundation gives contributions to more than 15 countries around the world. 

The goal of the foundation is to improve youth sports around the world, giving kids more opportunities. One of the main ways that the money is used is to refurbish basketball courts around the world. In recent years, the foundation made a three-year, $150,000 pledge to refurbish basketball courts in Los Angeles. 

The foundation has a very recent campaign around All-Star weekend in 2022. The NBPA pledged more than $3 million for Cleveland and the surrounding areas. The massive pledge focused on programming and support for youth, education, health equality, food insecurity and economic inclusion. 

One of the more public uses of the money accumulated in fines was to help the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. When the crisis became national news, the NBPA started a plan to help. Members of the Detroit Pistons distributed clean water to residents and there were also a lot of coupons provided for food for the residents. 

If you have some time, the NBPA is pretty open about the incredible things it does in so many communities and it is good to see the money from fines being used smartly.

How does the NBA use fine money from the players? 

Half of the money received from fines goes to the NBA and they will then distribute this to the league’s charity partners. One of the ways that the league does this is through the NBA foundation which is set up to be the non-profit organisation that uses this money in the right way. 

The foundation’s board is populated with a mix of NBA officials, players and owners. The board includes players Harrison Barnes, Tobias Harris, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Charlotte Hornets Chairman and the best NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan. 

The foundation has many different partners that the funds go to. These partners include Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, The Hidden Genius Project and the Centre for Leadership Development. Much like the NBPA, the NBA foundation has a variety of programs and investments that have a wide range of targets. 

Can NBA players decide where their fine money goes? 

Essentially, no. When an NBA player is fined the money will end up at a charity which is decided by either the NBA or the NBPA Foundation. As the money is going to charity, various NBA players have asked the NBA whether the money could go to the player’s preferred charity. 

Matt Barnes, a former player who was no stranger to fines during his career is one of the players who really pushed for this to be the case. But it is just not feasible for the NBA to allow this to happen as it is pretty questionable on ethical and legal grounds. 

Part of the reason why it is not feasible is that the specific player fines are not put to specific charities. They are all put into a big pot and this way, the NBPA can fund larger projects and have more of an impact than they would have if each player donated their fine to a different charity of their choice. 

Can NBA players appeal a fine? 

The CBA does also outline how players are able to appeal a fine. NBA players are allowed to appeal a fine to an independent arbitrator, but only if the fine is larger than $50,000. If the fine is larger then players can appeal to try to get the fine lowered or completely removed. 

What is the longest suspension in NBA history? 

The longest suspension in the history of the NBA comes from one of the most iconic moments in the history of the NBA. It is Ron Artest who has the record for the longest suspension in NBA history, being suspended for a total of 86 games, which was the remainder of the 2004-05 season. This included 73 regular season games and 13 playoff games. 

If you somehow don’t know why Artest was given this suspension, it is a pretty insane explanation. During a game against the Detroit Pistons, a brawl broke out but then simmered down. While things were starting to calm down, a fan threw a drink at Artest who was lying on the scorer’s table. 

Artest stormed into the stands and grabbed the fan, causing a large brawl to break out between players and fans. Artest would punch another fan who came onto the court to confront him. 

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