Dallas Mavericks public-address announcer Sean Heath has been suspended for two games by the NBA, according to ESPN Dallas. His crime: a series of tweets criticizing the officiating in a controversial game against the Warriors last week.
Update: Heath's suspensionhas been rescinded, and instead the Mavericks will pay a $25,000 fine.
At issue was a go-ahead shot attempt from Monta Ellis that was grabbed in an apparent goaltend by Jermaine O'Neal. The refs called nothing, and Golden State went on to win by two on the ensuing possession, a buzzer-beater from Steph Curry. The league office would later say O'Neal's goaltend should have been called, but it was too late—and that very much matters to Dallas, who currently sit a game up for the eighth and last playoff spot in the West.
After the game, Heath weighed in (the Tweets were deleted just this morning):
Aside from that last one, which the NBA is understandably very sensitive about, Heath's complaints sound pretty reasonable. It was a bad call, as the league would later admit. But Heath's an NBA team employee, subject to the same "don't badmouth the refs in public" rule as the players.
Heath's suspension will begin Saturday, the Mavs' final regular-season home game. Whether the second game will be served in the postseason's first round or next season depends on whether the Mavs make the playoffs—a question that may have been directly decided by the officiating that earned Heath his unpaid vacation.