- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 19, 2009

Milwaukee Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings was fined $7,500 by the NBA on Friday for posting a message on his Twitter account after Milwaukee’s 108-101 double-overtime win over Portland last weekend.

Jennings was fined for the timing of his post, not the content when he tweeted: “Back to 500. Yess!!! “500” means where doing good. Way to Play Hard Guys.”

The fine was announced several hours before the Bucks played at Cleveland, and Jennings reacted on his Twitter account.

“I understand I got fined, but 7500?” Jennings tweeted after learning of the decision. “For being happy over a win, you would of thought I said something bad. I mean it was a big win for us.”

According to the NBA’s social media policy, players cannot tweet during game time, defined as beginning 45 minutes before the game starts and ending after players have finished talking to the media following the game. His post came at 10:39 p.m. last Saturday, about 15 minutes after the game ended.

Jennings, a prep star who played professionally in Europe for a year before being picked 10th in the draft, has already had a run-in involving social media.

He apologized shortly after being drafted by the Bucks for drawing unwanted attention when a profanity-laced and provocative telephone conversation he had was videotaped and posted on YouTube.

Jennings, averaging 20.7 points and 6.0 assists in 23 games, said he’d learned from the incident and he shut down his original Twitter account to focus only on the season.

He couldn’t help himself, though, and revealed on his Facebook site Nov. 9 that he’d established a new Twitter account.

He told the Associated Press at the time he wanted to stay connected to his fans and didn’t think it would be a distraction again. Five days later, he became the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 50 points with 55 against Golden State.

He may be rethinking his plans after losing a chunk of his rookie salary, or at least scaling back his holiday plans.

“I’m bout to delete my twitter,” Jennings tweeted Friday. “Cost me 7500. Looks like no Gucci and Louie for Xmas.”

ROCKETS: Center Yao Ming hopes to return to the NBA next season as he continues to recover from surgery on his left foot.

“I’m definitely recovering, and the recent results of my checkups allowed me to make this long trip back to Shanghai from the U.S.,” Yao said.

He was in Shanghai to help launch a public service announcement about protecting sharks by the San Francisco-based conservation group WildAid.

Houston lost its 7-foot-6 center for this season when he had surgery in May to repair a hairline fracture in his left foot. Yao has said he wants to allow enough time for his bones to fully heal.

“I might be completely recovered by next season,” he said.

He has been a spokesman for WildAid since 2006.

THUNDER: Kevin Durant doesn’t think he’s enough of a high flyer to compete in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest, so he turned down the chance.

Durant wrote on his blog that he doesn’t consider himself a dunk contest dunker and that he doesn’t “even do any good dunks in games.” The Oklahoma City forward wrote that he’d rather let the Rudy Gays and Dwight Howards show off in the contest than take up one of the spots.

Durant won the first H-O-R-S-E competition during All-Star weekend in February and said before Friday night’s game against Detroit that he hopes to defend that title in Dallas.

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