Richard Jefferson is hardly the only Cavalier to leave Cleveland's 109-108 defeat of Golden State with a wink and a smile yesterday. Kyrie Irving was on the same Cloud Nine, telling reporters after the game that he'd happily pay the fine racked up by Jefferson for winking at Kevin Durant—administered after Jefferson handily dunking on the 6'11" small forward.
Given the stakes of the game—with both 2016 Championship teams going head to head for the first time this season—it seemed kind of innocuous. Jefferson told ESPN,
"I was a little bit surprised by it, but I think they were trying to rein it in. The only thing I said to [referee] Sean [Corbin] was, given everything going on out here, a little look and smile and wink [is innocent]. There's no screaming, there's no yelling, there's no fist pumping, there's no nothing. Just a smile and a wink to another competitor. And KD wasn't even offended. It's not like KD said something back to me or felt like it was like, 'Hey! Hey!' There was nothing. But again, I respect the referees and the job they have to do."
Cavs coach Tryonn Lue even said—with a laugh—that Jefferson should have been given a tech for a wink, and jokingly wished Jefferson had fully earned his tech by taking it even further. And while Jefferson winking was certainly no four-second rim hang, the officials were just trying to keep the game in check.
The result of that tech, though? A $2,000 fine.
Kyrie, who drilled the game-winning shot over Klay Thompson, seemed in a good enough mood to foot the bill, and Jefferson was all too grateful:
"Kyrie has been paying so much money for me, I don't know," said Jefferson. "He's been paying all these fines. I'm going to see what I can do to try and get it negated. But that's why you have good teammates."
Though $2,000 is probably good karma for Jefferson—he did get away with that suspicious trip at the end of the game, after all.