DALLAS -- Public-address announcer Sean Heath's brush with the NBA office won't affect his future with the Dallas Mavericks.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban said he had no problem paying the $25,000 fine the league assessed the Mavs due to Heath's tweets criticizing officiating. However, Cuban assured that he wanted the loud, proud homer Heath to continue his part-time job of shouting in a courtside microphone to fire up the American Airlines Center crowds for the foreseeable future.
"It's a hurricane in a urinal," Cuban said, laughing about the media firestorm that ensued after ESPNDallas.com reported Thursday night that the NBA had suspended Heath for two games. "We flushed and moved on."
Cooler heads also prevailed at the league office, which rescinded the suspension Friday morning, opting instead to fine the franchise. The NBA office never acknowledged the suspension, saying only that several disciplinary options were discussed before ultimately deciding to be "consistent with past practice on violations of game operations staff."
The critical tweets from Heath's account, which had only 253 followers on Thursday evening, occurred in the heated aftermath of the Mavs' April 1 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors. 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.
Cuban said Heath should have been informed about his limits on potentially controversial public commentary before this incident. Heath has been told not to tweet about games anymore, but the outspoken Cuban appreciates the passion from the Mavs' part-time contract worker.
"I can't talk about how important it is to have an amazing in-game environment and then have someone get all hyped up like I do and then criticize him for basically doing what I do," said Cuban, who has been fined at least $1.9 million during his 14-year ownership tenure, primarily for criticizing officiating. "That would be awfully hypocritical of me."