Following a play that led to his ejection on New Year's Day, Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva was hit with a $25,000 fine by the league office on Wednesday, according to a report by The Associated Press.
The 6'11 forward was sent to the locker room in the second quarter by officials after being whistled for a flagrant foul on Sacramento guard Isaiah Thomas, and finished the game with nine points in just 11 minutes of action. Villanueva's actions forced the league to act swiftly with a monetary slap on the wrist the following day, although it appears that commissioner David Stern has made a final decision to avoid suspending Villanueva for his intentional elbow.
Though he began the year as a bit player in head coach Lawrence Frank's rotation, Villanueva has started to come alive as an outside shooting option off the bench in recent weeks. In addition to hitting 3-of-5 three-point attempts before the flagrant foul sent him to the showers, the veteran forward is currently riding a five-game streak where he has made at least three shots from the outside. With the Pistons desperate to get back in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the team will need to hope this hefty fine will make Villanueva think twice before playing so recklessly in the future.