Bradley Beal was involved in some shenanigans with Evan Fournier last Friday when he literally choked the Magic guard. Though he did play Saturday’s game against the Spurs, we were kind of wondering whether the NBA would take further action against him. On Sunday night, the league did by issuing him a $15,000 fine.
Some will be a bit surprised as to why the league did not suspend him. I’ll just show the video of the incident below:
Bradley Beal wraps a hand around Evan Fournier's neck pic.twitter.com/DWsV3QOHsm— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 26, 2016
What makes the incident a bit perplexing was that neither Beal nor Fournier were directly involved in the events leading up to the Wizards’ and Magic’s scuffle. What happened was that Kelly Oubre Jr. got fouled by Bismack Biyombo in the previous possession. Oubre took exception to it, and the other players on the floor came around to their defense.
Though Beal’s “throat grab” wasn’t that long, it wasn’t unnoticed. The Magic’s TV broadcast showed it:
#Magic TV just showed a replay of Bradley Beal grabbing at Evan Fournier's neck during that scrum— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) November 26, 2016
and Fournier had “battle wounds” after the incident.
ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. he has a HAND PRINT ON HIS NECK. pic.twitter.com/Pay0Y2StYb— rach (@rachaelhoops) November 26, 2016
In the NBA, perceptions matter a lot. Maybe the throat grab really didn’t hurt Fournier. And maybe Fournier doesn’t think much of it.
But the fact of the matter is that Beal choked Fournier, and the cameras caught it. I’m not surprised that the NBA took further action. Beal should be fortunate that he didn’t miss a game, since the Wizards are currently playing the Kings tonight.