Apparently, Fred VanVleet isn’t a supporter of the NBA’s continuing policies.
The team announced Thursday that the Raptors shield, his teammate DeAndre’ Bembry and Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker have each been suspended one game without pay for leaving their bench areas during Tuesday night’s game between Toronto and Los Angeles. Additionally, Raptors forward OG Anunoby ($30,000) and Lakers big man Montrezl Harrell ($20,000) were hit with fines for their roles in an on-court altercation.
Late in the first quarter of that contest, Lakers guard Dennis Schroder fouled Anunoby and got tangled up with him after the whistle. Anunoby grabbed Schroder by the leg and tossed him onto the ground, which caused Harrell and a bunch of other players to jump into the fray. After a lengthy review of the play, Anunoby and Harrell were both ejected.
Upon learning that he had received a suspension, VanVleet offered a short reaction on Twitter: “Lol.”
It may seem odd that VanVleet, Bembry and Horton-Tucker were suspended because they had the smallest amount of direct participation from the fracas. Unfortunately for those men, there is not a ton of gray area when it comes to leaving the bench, even if a participant is trying to deescalate the circumstance.
Hey, if nothing else, VanVleet can find comfort in knowing it could have been worse. Imagine if he’d done this during a significant playoff series! (So sorry, Suns fans.)