Miami Heat owner Micky Arison has been fined $500,000 by the NBA for a tweet he made last week, according to an ESPN report. No official announcement was made, but the NBA did confirm it had fined Arison an undisclosed amount.

The most serious Twitter exchange was as follows:

Fan: “How’s it feel to be apart of ruining the best game in the world? NBA owners/players don’t give a damn about fans&and guess what? Fans provide all the money you’re fighting over&you greedy (expletive) pigs.

Arison: “You are barking at the wrong owner.”

Arison later deleted the tweet, but league officials already were aware of its existence. The tweet also seemed to hint that owners are divided about how to resolve the NBA’s labor issues. Arison additionally tweeted  ”lol” when asked about Los Angeles Clippers owners Donald Sterling , and he re-tweeted a message asking him about competitive balance — a hotly debated issue among owners — with a smiley face emoticon.

Sources told ESPN that other league owners, who are stirring as the lockout of the league’s players has continued, suggested commissioner David Stern levy the fine. Owners and league officials are under an NBA mandate prohibiting public discussion of the lockout.

The amount is five times higher than any other owner has been sanctioned during the labor dispute. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and Bobcats owner Michael Jordan have each been fined $100,000 previously for comments made about the labor situation.

[ESPN]