Was Rodney Hood’s cellphone slap worth $35,000? A point-by-point investigation

On Wednesday night, Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood was ejected from the team’s game against the Washington Wizards – a 107-104 Jazz victory – for accumulating two technical fouls for arguing with officials (an ongoing middle school beef currently taking over the league).

Seconds after he was sent to the showers, Hood walked by a man seated near the court who was either recording a video or taking a photo of the ejected (and very likely fed-up) player. In response, Hood slapped the phone out of the fan’s hand, amusing the entire NBA community (except for said man) along the way.

Well, as they say, there comes a time when Keeping It Real Goes Wrong, and in this case, Hood was fined $35,000 by the NBA for the non-NBC slap heard around the world.

Which presents the question: Was it all worth it? Thirty-five thousand dollars is a lot to regular folks, but does the fine, along with the notoriety of being “that guy,” really matter to a rich millionaire? Here’s a seven-point investigation:

  • Hood is making $2,386,864 this season, which means the $35,000 fine amounts to about 1.5 percent of his annual salary. For us normies, that’s about $700 for a person making $50,000 a year. That probably stung a little.
  • Hood had been ejected for arguing with the officials, which is pretty low on the “what are you in for?” scale, so he needed to show the whole world that, like his last name, he is about that life.
  • The perpetrator, the Milton Waddams-esque gentleman who was on the receiving end of the slap, was sitting near courtside in a white dress shirt and a tie. At a sporting event. He also violated the Ron Artest Rules for Not Antagonizing Professional Athletes, thus deserving what was coming to him.
  • The slap is one of the more fluid motions ever witnessed. Hood, trying to perfect the no-look pass, never turns to look at the man as he swats the phone. And once the cellular device is in motion, it flips and flutters through the air like a skydiver who has just jumped out of the plane.
  • As Hood knocks the phone down, he keeps walking without looking back. This is like boxer Roy Jones Jr. putting one arm behind his back levels of cockiness. Hood knew, like we all did, that Milton wasn’t about to step, so Hood had no worries about turning his back on the aggrieved party.
  • At the end of the video, you can see the fan start to stand up, as if, in fact, he is about to step, but the camera pans away to Hood’s perp walk. What we all can imagine actually happened was Milton pulled up his Dockers, reached down and picked up his phone, sat down, and immediately called the police.
  • Milton did actually call the police.

Looking at all the facts, while Hood lost a rent’s worth of money (by Salt Lake City standards) on a move that Ric Flair was paid millions to execute weekly, he was the talk of #NBATwitter on Wednesday even while 1) playing for the Jazz, 2) against the Wizards and 3) the same night another player scored 50 points.

Hood, who should be an All-Star captain now, may have lost some money, but he earned our (read: my) respect. Plus, with his next contract, Hood is expected to make somewhere close to $20 million a season.

Yes, it was worth it.

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