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.
“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.