The NBA views what Jameer Nelson did in celebration of hitting a big shot against the Bulls earlier this week as an “obscene gesture,” and routinely fines players who continue to rejoice in this way.
We all know it as the “big balls dance,” made famous by Sam Cassell.
Nelson was slapped with a $15,000 fine for it, but doesn’t exactly regret his show of emotion.
From Ken Hornack of Fox Sports Florida (via HoopsHype):
“I accept the fine,” Nelson said Friday at the Magic’s shootaround before their game against the Charlotte Bobcats. “Hopefully I won’t get emotional again. If I have to pay $15,000 for our fans to get excited I’ll do it again.”
Nelson came within a point of tying his career high when he poured in 31 against the Bulls. The 30 field goals he shot were a season high for any Magic player, and his 13 3-point attempts tied Arron Afflalo’s total on Dec. 3 in a double-overtime loss at Philadelphia.
“If I offended anyone, I’m sorry,” he said. “Basketball is a fun game, and you get emotional. You never see my emotions, but you did that game.”
The league considers its product to be a family-friendly one, so their position on fining players for this particular celebration is understandable when viewing it in that light.
Much like the toothless warnings for flopping, however, if players feel the need to break this out when the mood strikes, a $15,000 fine against millions in annual salary isn’t likely to act as much of a deterrent.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.