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Stevenson Fined

Deshawn Stevenson was fined $25,000 on Monday after making what the NBA determined to be "a menacing gesture" duriing the first quarter of the Washington Wizards' 100-97 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In case you missed it, with 10 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first quarter, LeBron James goaltended a Stevenson layup after Delonte West fouled him. Before Stevenson went to the foul line, he lifted his hands and "threw up the diamond," connecting his thumbs and his index fingers in the shape of a diamond like the rapper Jay-Z does to symbolize the Roc-a-fella "dynasty."

Afterward, Stevenson made a throat-slashing gesture, which is a no-no with the league office and prompted the fine.

No doubt the gesture was Stevenson's not-so-subtle response to the Stevenson diss record Jay-Z made for James, which was played at the popular D.C. nightclub Love on Friday night. Fortunately for Stevenson, it's not going to take "seven movies by Will, seven movies at $20 mil" to pay the fine (That was a line from the Jay-Z freestyle, if you didn't know).

Stevenson said he wouldn't attack a "legend" like Jay-Z, but he got a solid whack at James in the second quarter, picking up a flagrant one foul. Reporters in Cleveland asked Cavaliers Coach Mike Brown if he wanted Stevenson to be suspended for Game 5 on Wednesday. Brown was diplomatic.

"Going back and watching that particular play, it looked like it was a pretty good lick, but it's up to the league to find out what the response will be," Brown said.

James said one of his teammates told him that Stevenson hit him with a closed fist, which has been the hot topic on some local radio stations here. Problem is, it isn't true. The Cleveland Plain Dealer sports front had the photos to prove it. You can check out these pictures for yourself.

This is not going to end well.(John Kuntz/The Plain Dealer)

Oh, no. Not the headband. (John Kuntz/The Plain Dealer)

Does that look like a closed fist?

No matter what people see, Stevenson may have trumped Art Modell as most hated man in Cleveland. Okay, that might be a stretch, but he's pretty high on the list with Modell and John Elway.

This series needs to get cleaned up, though. So far there have been six technical fouls, two flagrant one penalty fouls, one flagrant two penalty foul, one ejection and now a fine. The trash talk is just talk, but all the other extracurricular activities need to chill. This is the playoffs, but let's play ball.

By Michael Lee  |  April 28, 2008; 5:57 PM ET
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