You knew it was coming: Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for making an "obscene gesture" late in the fourth quarter of his team's matchup with the Chicago Bulls at Amway Center on Wednesday night.
The gesture in question is one familiar to many NBA fans — in fact, I'd go so far as to call it one that is near and dear to the hearts of a great many basketball watchers — and it took place with just over 11 ticks left on the clock in a nip-and-tuck battle between the two battling Eastern squads. Check it out:
Yep — after draining a pull-up 21-footer over the outstretched arm of Bulls center Joakim Noah to knot the game up at 101 and force a timeout by Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau, the 10th-year pro trotted back toward the Magic bench performing the "I have sizable testes" dance made famous years ago by point guard (and now Washington Wizards assistant coach) Sam Cassell. The NBA doesn't like that.
Nelson becomes the third player fined this season for bringing Cassel's signature celebration back. First, Brooklyn Nets reserve forward/center Andray Blatche felt the wrath of the league office for the below-the-belt pantomime during a win over the Miami Heat. Next, it was Milwaukee Bucks small forward Caron Butler, who busted it out after a late make in a win over the Boston Celtics. The league also slapped then-Chicago Bulls guard Marco Belinelli with a $15,000 fine for doing the dance after he made a big 3-pointer against the Nets during Game 7 of the teams' first-round playoff series in May 2013.
The $15,000 rip is $10,000 less than what Eddie House got for doing the same thing in January 2011, but it still seems quite a bit excessive.
I mean, it's the same amount that Paul Pierce got fined for a flagrant-2 shot to the head of George Hill, and that Travis Outlaw got fined for clotheslining J.J. Redick, and that Mario Chalmers got for a forearm to the throat of Blake Griffin ... and it's for, y'know, a silly dance. To say nothing of the fact that, as Grantland's Zach Lowe notes, the Cassell dance fine far outstrips the penalties levied for a player's first four video-confirmed flops, even with flopping allegedly such a scourge of fair NBA play and purported point of emphasis for the league office. Sounds kind of ridiculous, right? Oh, well.
Despite Nelson's testicular fortitude, the Bulls outlasted the Magic, 128-125, in the second triple-overtime game of the 2013-14 NBA season. (Chicago played in the first one, too, as you might recall.) Nelson finished with 31 points — albeit on 13 for 30 shooting, including a 3 for 13 mark from 3-point range — to go with 10 assists, six rebounds and just two turnovers in 54-plus minutes of floor time. Rookie Victor Oladipo led the Magic with a noteworthy game-high 35 points on 15 for 24 shooting, eight assists (with eight turnovers), four rebounds and three steals in a Magic-high 57-plus minutes.
Joakim Noah (26 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks) led six Bulls in double figures in the win, but the story was Chicago swingman Jimmy Butler, who logged 60 minutes and 20 seconds of playing time, a Bulls franchise record and the most floor time of any player in nearly 13 years. After the game — in which Butler ran 3.93 miles, the most in the NBA this season, according to SportVU player tracking data shared by STATS' Brian Kopp — an ice-pack-laden Butler said that if the game had gone to a fourth OT, he "would have played, but 911 would have been on speed dial." Tom Thibodeau, ladies and gentlemen!
Video via Beyond the Buzzer.
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