Sean Heath has ban lifted by NBA
DALLAS -- Public-address announcer Sean Heath will be shouting into his courtside microphone at American Airlines Center during the Mavericks' regular-season home finale Saturday night after all.
The NBA office rescinded its two-game suspension for Heath, according to a source, opting to fine the Mavericks $25,000 as punishment for Heath's tweets criticizing the officiating in the wake of Dallas' 122-120 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors on April 1.
Three of the tweets from Heath's account were directed to the NBA's account, the most inflammatory of which said that games such as the Mavs' loss to the Warriors are why the league has a "reputation that the games are rigged."
"Several disciplinary options were discussed but ultimately we decided to be consistent with past practice on violations of game operations staff," league spokesman Tim Frank said via email.
A source said the fact that Heath is a contract worker and technically not a team employee made a suspension for him a legally complicated issue.
According to multiple sources, the Mavs were informed Thursday that Heath would be suspended for two games and were granted a request to delay that suspension until Saturday to allow time to find a suitable replacement.The league office acknowledged in a statement the next day that Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal should have been called for goaltending when he blocked a potential go-ahead shot by Mavs guard Monta Ellis with 16 seconds remaining in overtime.