David Stern hit Kobe Bryant with a $100,000 fine on Wednesday after Bryant called a referee a "fucking faggot" the night prior. Jeremy Singer-Vine at Slate determined that Kobe's fine is unprecedented in NBA history. In fact, it probably violates the NBA's own constitution:
Nonetheless, the league may have overstepped its bounds by charging Bryant $100,000. Article 35(c) of the NBA Constitution (PDF) gives the commissioner broad discretion to fine players whose "act or conduct […] has been prejudicial to or against the best interests of the Association or the game of basketball," but also states that fines will "not exceed $50,000." Bryant is the first player the league has ever fined directly-as opposed to indirectly through suspension-for more than this stated maximum. It wasn't immediately clear why, or how, the NBA bypassed the provision, a league spokesperson told the Explainer. Bryant has said he plans to appeal the fine, as a matter of "standard protocol." If he's aware of the possible overfining, he hasn't made a big deal of it.
Perhaps this was a slip-up. More likely it is the behavior of man who puts "a happy face on a Pinkerton's soul," especially when a collective bargaining agreement is at stake.
NBA Fines 101 [Slate]