NBA Player Fined for Untying Other Players’ Shoelaces

February 4, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. fine /faɪn/ (v.) – to charge money as penalty or punishment
Example: The game officials fined the player $10,000 for playing while drunk.

2. prank /præŋk/ (n.) – an action done to make fun of a person, often taken as a joke
Example: Hiding a fellow player’s shoes is a common prank.

3. condone /kənˈdoʊn/ (v.) – to let something bad continue
Example:  The league officials do not condone malicious acts.

4. hefty /ˈhɛfti/ (adj.) – huge or large in amount
Example: Basketball superstars get a hefty salary.

5. notorious /noʊˈtɔriəs, -ˈtoʊr-, nə-/ (adj.) – well-known for bad qualities
Example: The notorious player brought a gun in the gym.


Read the text below.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) fined a player for untying an opponent’s shoelace [SHOO-leys] during a game.

New York Knicks’ [niks] guard J.R. Smith first did his prank on Dallas Mavericks’ forward, Shawn Marion. Because of this incident, the league warned Smith about his inappropriate behavior. However, he ignored the warning and tried to do the prank again on another game. The prank failed this time as Detroit Pistons’ center Greg Monroe was alert enough to move his shoe away from Smith.

While Smith’s prank failed, it still resulted in a $50,000 NBA fine for his repeated misconduct.

Mike Woodson, NY Knicks’ coach, expressed how unhappy he was with Smith’s behavior. He reminded the player not to repeat the wrongful act since the NBA already gave a warning.

Since Smith did the prank twice without hesitation, Woodson said he will no longer condone the unprofessional acts by his player. The coach said he will address the problem and have a serious talk with Smith.

Hefty fines are not new to Smith since he had committed many violations in his 10-year NBA career. This season, the NBA suspended him for the first five games for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. This no-pay suspension deducted $253,000 from his $5.6 million salary. Soon after, the league again fined him $25,000 for indirectly threatening a Pistons player on Twitter.

Despite his notorious reputation, Smith is a key player for the Knicks. He won the Sixth Man of the Year award last season, which is an award for substitute players who play well.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think imposing a fine on Smith is enough to correct his bad behavior? Why or why not?
·         If you were Smith’s coach, how would you make sure that your players show professionalism in each game?

Discussion B

·         Why is sportsmanship important?
·         How can good sportsmanship be encouraged?


February 4, 2014