CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James will save Dahntay Jones some money again.
After Jones was assessed two technical fouls and ejected from Monday’s series opener between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, James said he planned to pay the automatic $6,000 fine ($2,000 for each technical, $2,000 for the ejection) that accompanied the penalties.
Last year, after Jones was fined for punching Toronto’s Bismack Biyombo in the groin and was suspended, James paid for his teammate’s misbehavior.
“First of all, I said I was going to pay the fine before I even knew what it was,” James said following Cleveland’s 116-105 win in Game 1. “It didn’t matter. And I told him tonight, I said: ‘Listen, Dahntay, now enough is enough. Stop getting kicked out against Toronto all the time. I’m going to stop paying your damn fines.’ But yeah, he don’t have to worry about it. He’s good.”
While Jones, a 14-year veteran can probably afford the fine, James, who will make $31 million this season, seemed more than happy to pick up the tab.
Jones signed with Cleveland on the final day of the regular season and is earning only $9,127 in salary — the prorated amount of the minimum contract.
The Cavaliers re-signed Jones because he brings them experience and some needed toughness. Jones dunked with 18.7 seconds left in Game 1 and then was slapped with the technical for taunting Norman Powell, who earlier had delivered a shot to Kevin Love’s groin.
Jones appeared to anger Powell and the Raptors with the dunk during the closing minutes since it came with the game out of reach.