Derrick Rose had plenty of reasons to be frustrated on Monday night. His Detroit Pistons have now lost 12 of their past 15 games. Basically every veteran with value has been engulfed by trade rumors. After a spirited 12-point fourth-quarter comeback against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Pistons fell short in overtime and lost.
With 37 seconds left in that lost overtime, Rose took out his frustration in a rather unusual way. After a Pelicans 3-pointer extended the lead, Detroit called a timeout. Rather than immediately speak with coaches or sit down, Rose made his way over to a sideline table and grabbed a pen. He chucked it clear across the court and into the stands, and now, he has been fined $25,000 for the incident by the NBA.
Fortunately, the concerns are mostly optic. So far as publicly known, nobody was injured by Rose’s surprise projectile, and in general, it’s hard to imagine a pen doing much damage. Rose is being fined for losing his temper. He just happened to do so in a rather unique way.
It does beg the question of how Rose got access to that pen in the first place, though. Its original owner appears to have been a Pistons assistant coach, who put his pen and clipboard down when the timeout was called. Perhaps as a means of neutralizing the future weaponization of writing instruments, the NBA could release uniform clipboards with pens attached similar to the pens one might find at the bank.
This, of course, is a solution for another day. Until a flying pen actually causes a bigger problem than making the league look bad, they will likely remain ungoverned, leaving players like Rose vulnerable to fines like this in the future.