DALLAS – Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for making what the league deemed a “movie spoiler gesture” during Game 5 in Dallas, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of the Mavericks’ 100-96 series-clinching win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
After Nowitzki put Dallas ahead for good with a second-chance 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:14 remaining, The German headed towards the bench while holding up two fingers and a thumb on each hand.
There has been speculation that Nowitzki gave away a pivotal plot point in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 blockbuster “Inglourious Basterds.”
“The league is sending a message that we will absolutely not, under any circumstance, tolerate spoilers,” NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday. “Even if I have seen the movie.”
Nowitzki’s gesture resembled a key scene in “Basterds,” in which the entire fate of the mission hinges on how a character counts to three on one hand — revealing him to be either German or a spy.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban denied that it had anything to with such. He said the player holds up three fingers to represent “a successfully made three-pointer.”
“Watch what Dirk does when he hits a big three. He’s done it his whole career,” Cuban said. “That’s not anything related to Tarantino flicks.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant said he understood why the league came down so hard on Nowitzki.
“I knew he was pumped up after the play,” Durant said. “And at first, I honestly didn’t know what it meant. But then Russell [Westbrook] told me that Dirk hated ‘Inglorious Basterds’ ‘for obvious reasons,’ and that he had ‘just spoiled the movie for us.’ I was pretty upset about it later. I was planning on watching it on the plane ride home.”
Nowitzki declined to comment on the fine, though he indicated it would be appealed.
“I’m here getting ready for the NBA Finals,” he said Thursday night. “We’ll take care of that when the season’s over. I’m not really worried about it right now.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle expects Nowitzki to win the appeal.
“It’s silly,” Carlisle said. “Unfortunately, everybody’s very sensitive about spoilers. I didn’t know that. But Jesus, the movie came out two years ago for fuck’s sake.”