Ranking the top 10 biggest NBA fines levied on players & team: All you need to know

Dallas Mavericks v New York Knicks
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has received several NBA Fines

NBA fines have become somewhat of a regularity in recent years. The league does not condone misconduct and has made sure to make its stance on such matters clear.

Players have been made to pay hefty fines for several reasons, including using obscene language or being involved in physical altercations. Some of these fines also come with game suspensions.

One great example is the suspension of Patrick Beverley without pay for three games after he shoved Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton. Teams are also not left out as they can be fined for violations like not being honest with their injury report.

That said, here are the 10 biggest NBA fines levied on players and teams in league history.

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#1. Minnesota Timberwolves - $3.5 million

Former MLB player and Minnesota Timberwolves co-minority owner Alex Rodriguez
Former MLB player and Minnesota Timberwolves co-minority owner Alex Rodriguez

The Minnesota Timberwolves have received the highest fine in NBA history. In 2000, the league fined the franchise $3.5 million for under-the-table negotiations to bring in elite players.

With that deal, they brought in Joe Smith to add to a roster filled with All-Star players. The league put a salary cap to level the playing field by stopping richer teams from splurging on the best talents. However, the Timberwolves acquired Smith by offering him a contract below his value with the promise of a much bigger agreement in the future.

The league caught wind of it and slapped the organization with a $3.5 million fine.


#2. Donald Sterling - $2.5 million

Donald Sterling has received one of the largest NBA fines in league history
Donald Sterling has received one of the largest NBA fines in league history

Donald Sterling was the recipient of the maximum fine allowed by the NBA constitution. In 2014, he was fined $2.5 million and was stripped of his authority as the owner of the LA Lakers. Sterling was caught on tape making racist remarks during a phone conversation with his mistress V. Stiviano.


#3. New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets - $1 million ($500,000 each)

Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets is defended by Renaldo Balkman of the New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets is defended by Renaldo Balkman of the New York Knicks

Although "Malice at the Palace" was arguably the biggest brawl in league history, the on-court altercation at Madison Square Garden on December 16, 2006, resulted in heavier fines. The fight happened between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks after a hard foul on JR Smith in transition.

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All of the players involved in the altercation were suspended for a combined 47 games, with each team getting fined $500,000.


#4. Mark Cuban - $600,000

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban is no stranger to NBA fines, and his biggest came in 2018. On a podcast, he revealed that he had dinner with some players and suggested that the tank.

The NBA was irate with the public statement and deemed it detrimental to the league. He was fined $600,000 for his comments.


#5. Vladimir Radmanovic - $500,000

Vladimir Radmanovic is one of the players with the largest NBA fines
Vladimir Radmanovic is one of the players with the largest NBA fines

Not often do you see the league getting involved in activities a player chooses to do in their time. However, LA Lakers Vladimir Radmanovic was fined $500,000 for snowboarding.

The league has rules against players engaging in extreme sports that could be a danger to their health. Added to the fine, the big man separated his shoulder during the event.


#6. Mark Cuban - $500,000

The Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined several times by the NBA. However, one of his biggest NBA fines came in 2002 after he heavily criticized NBA executives and officials.

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Cuban claimed that the referees made horrible calls throughout the game against the San Antonio Spurs. For his comments, the NBA fined the billionaire $500,000.


#7. Damon Stoudamire - $250,000

Damon Stoudamire was arrested for marijuana possession three times in 2003, and the league was not happy about it. The Portland Trail Blazers star guard was fined 250,000 after the third arrest.

The franchise also suspended their star man as they were not appreciative of the image he was portraying. They also suggested that he sought professional help.


#8. Latrell Sprewell - $250,000

A young fan greets Latrell Sprewell, former Knicks guard
A young fan greets Latrell Sprewell, former Knicks guard

The New York Knicks fined their star player Latrell Sprewell #250,000 for failing to report an injury. The wingman claimed he broke his hand after slipping on a yacht during the offseason but failed to report it.

When the team found out, they slapped the All-Star with a fine and he was unavailable for six weeks.


#9. San Antonio Spurs - $250,000

Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs talks with teammates Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs talks with teammates Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs

The NBA slapped the San Antonio Spurs with a $250,000 fine in 2012 after head coach Gregg Popovich chose to rest his star players. The Spurs were one of the biggest teams in the Western Conference, and a matchup against LeBron James and the Miami Heat was supposed to be a big deal.

The league was irate with Popovich's decision and issued a fine for what was deemed "a disservice to the league and fans." The Spurs got to face off against the Heat in the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals.


#10. Portland Trail Blazers - $250,000

The Portland Trail Blazers, in 1984, was fined $250,000 for contacting undergraduates. The league prohibits teams from directly reaching out to players who are still in school.

The Blazers reportedly contacted Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, who were still undergraduates at Georgetown. Although then Vice President Harry Glickman claimed that they had no idea they were doing anything wrong, the league still issued the fine.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar