A player in the NBA was benched during a game and fined $35,000 for pointing a "finger gun" at a rival team's player in the midst of a dispute on the court.
Brandon Jennings, who plays guard for the Washington Wizards, was filmed pointing the "finger gun" during a Mar. 7 game against the Phoenix Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Arizona, Daily Mail reports.
According to The Washington Post, Jennings denied making any threatening gestures during the game, despite video footage indicating he had.
A former member of the New York Knicks, the NBA player was recently signed by the Wizards for $1.2 million a year.
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A backcourt foul between Wizards center Jason Smith and Suns guard Tyler Ulis triggered the incident in the second quarter of the game.
Smith and Ulis got into a heated dispute that escalated when Suns forward, Jared Dudley, physically bumped Smith. The argument intensified with more players from both teams joining the heated discussion.
Jennings made the finger gun gesture at this time, aiming it at Dudley, shouting something as the two players confronted each other.
Game officials separated the two athletes and ejected them both from the game on technical fouls. On Mar. 9, league officials announced the two players would be fined $35,000 for their on-court transgressions.
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Dudley was fined for "escalating an altercation" for headbutting Smith after Smith knocked down Ulis with a hard screen. Jennings was fined for the hand gesture he made, Fox News reports.
"They said I pointed my finger like a gun at Dudley," Jennings said of the incident.
"I was telling Dudley to relax, like, calm down, because you’re not that type of guy," Jennings added.
"Jason Smith didn't do anything wrong anyway. All he did was set a good pick, so for you to come at a guy like Jason Smith, who's not even a bad guy or don't do things like that -- so what are you doing? I was just protecting my teammate."
Jennings played for his team the day after the incident in a game against the Denver Nuggets.
Other players had previously been fined for making the finger-gun gesture. In 2015, Miami Heat guard Gerald Green was made to pay $25,000 for making the same gesture during a preseason game.
In February, league officials determined that a fingered gun gesture made by Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas was not intended to be threatening, and refrained from fining him, Sportsnet reported.