This has led many to accuse the NBA of bias in favor of Curry. According to them Curry is repeat offender and he deserves a minimum one game suspension along with fine. The let-off will serve as bad precedent for younger and future players. Suspension from few games would have set an example and warning to other players that breaking rules and indiscipline won’t be tolerated in a professional league like NBA.
In 2015 Curry was ejected from the game against Cleveland Cavaliers after he aimed his mouth guard at a fan after losing his temper. This time he allegedly aimed at the referee. Curry has instantly apologized for his action, regretted the incident and assured that he won’t repeat such act in future again. Could that have played a role in NBA’s lenient punishment?a
I don’t think so. The NBA is a business organization that makes money out of a sport. In the fourth game 2016 Finals, the referees were very unfair against the Warriors in the first quarter. They called so many fouls on Warrior players and that led to a record scoring by Cavs in the first quarter. The referees were neither in favor of Cavs nor against the Warriors. They wanted Warriors to lose the match considering the revenue loss an early finish of finals may cause. It is estimated that had not been fifth game played in the final series, nearly $25 millions revenue would have been lost.
Now I’m telling you why lenient punishment was awarded to Curry. At present he is biggest and most popular NBA superstar globally. He ranks top in the NBA merchandise sales. May not be in USA, but he is extremely popular in big market like China, India and Brazil. Believe me or not in India, majority of NBA games broadcasted through Television are of Golden State Warriors vs. others. Hardly we get to watch matches featuring franchisee like Pistons vs. Knicks.
The Golden State Warriors franchise is nothing without Curry. Had Curry been suspended for one game it would have tremendous financial implication on revenue. International fans don’t have franchise loyalty simply because they are not from the regions where the franchises are based. Rather they have loyalty to the star players.
Usually NBA announces disciplinary measure almost on the same day. Recently Kyrie Irving was imposed a fine of $25,000 almost immediately for his rant against a fan in their match against 76ers. In Curry’s case the decision was delayed badly. He is a star of his own kind and his status demand that he be treated favorably because the financial weight he carries for his franchise and NBA.
The bottomline is that had Curry been suspended for a game, global viewership of the match would have dipped and would have caused loss in revenue to the NBA and also to the franchisees involved in the matches with GSW. GSW is one of very few teams along with Lakers, Bulls and Celtics that manage almost a packed arena whether matches are at home or away.