Chicago Bulls guard Marco Belinelli was fined $15,000 for "making an obscene gesture" during his team's 99-93 win in Game 7 of its opening-round playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets, the NBA announced through its weirdly protected Twitter account on Monday afternoon.
The gesture in question came with just under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Game 7, after Belinelli hit a huge 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 91-81 lead:
Yep, that's right — the NBA just fined the Italian guard 15 large for paying tribute to Sam Cassell by intimating that he, too, possesses sizable testes.
Belinelli scored a critical 24 points on 8 for 14 shooting and grabbed six rebounds in 41 minutes of floor time in Chicago's Game 7 win. He's expected to once again start in the backcourt when Tom Thibodeau's Bulls take on the defending champion Miami Heat in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup on Monday.
The fine is a bold move by the NBA — after all, in a world in which the Cassell dance is outlawed, only outlaws will do the Cassell dance. It'll be anarchy.
Then again, the league has already established that it will slap down dancers; as ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reminded us on Monday, Eddie House got hit with a $25,000 fine for doing the same thing back in January 2011. So maybe it's actually getting LESS offensive and expensive to do it. If that's the case, I suggest more players do it throughout the playoffs. Let's get this thing down to a cool nickel a pop, so that everyone may dance without fear of having to write a hefty check to the league office.
Also, if you're keeping score, even at the "reduced" fine level, "obscene" dancing is now considered three times as bad as flopping in a playoff game. Seems like some ridiculous, über-"Footloose" stuff to me, but then again, my record as a lifelong lover of interpretive dance is well established.
And so here we find ourselves, facing a reality in which players might choose not to do the Cassell dance for fear of financial penalties. If in fact Belinelli's was the final such dance, let us celebrate it by watching it on a loop, forever.
Weep not for the memories.
If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to check out the "obscene gesture" elsewhere, thanks to OUOutreach.
- Sports & Recreation
- Chicago Bulls
- Brooklyn Nets