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Report: NBA suspends Mavericks’ public-address announcer

Apr 11, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

Stephen Curry beat the Mavericks with a game-winning jumper last week, but the Golden State-Dallas game hit a controversial turn before that point.

On the possession prior, Jermaine O’Neal deflected Monta Ellis’ shot as the ball headed down toward the rim – an apparent goaltend. Except the officials ruled it a clean block.

Mavericks fans were, justifiably, upset.

The NBA even admitted the referees blew the call.

But that didn’t appease a fanbase cheering for a team teetering the playoff line. Especially not Mavericks public-address announcer Sean Heath, who tweeted:

Heath has a history of tweets criticizing the league and its referees:

Tim MacMahon of

The NBA issued a two-game suspension to Dallas Mavericks public-address announcer Sean Heath due to tweets criticizing officiating, multiple sources briefed on the situation told

The suspension will begin Saturday night, when the Mavs face the Phoenix Suns in the final home game of the regular season. Heath will complete the suspension either in the first home game of the playoffs or next season’s home opener, depending on whether the Mavs advance.

Games are refereed by fallible human beings. Mistakes happen, and it’s unreasonable to expect perfection (at least until we get Pablo Torre’s Robot Revolution). Errors aren’t necessarily part of some game-rigging conspiracy.

They’re just mistakes, and Heath is just whining.

That makes him no different than many fans.

What does make him different: He collects a paycheck by working for one of the NBA’s teams. The league has every right to punish employees who publicly criticize it. And when the complaints are so unfounded and rooted in obvious bias, Heath won’t get my sympathy.

  1. cantonbound13 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Watch the 2006 NBA Finals & you will understand why he has a legit argument

    • reesesteel23 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      Lol the Finals were Dwade averaged 35 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assist, 2.5 steals and 1 block?

      Give me a break. Wade single-handedly took that finals from Dallas.

    • reesesteel23 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      What did D-wade do? Drove to the basket on 80% of his shots.

      What did Dallas do?

      Shoot jumpers for 48 minutes per game…

      Not going to win in the Finals like that.

      • cantonbound13 - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        They won it all 3 years ago shooting jumpers. To answer your question, “What did Wade do”? He flopped, over & over again.

    • bpayton216 - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM


      as a fan I identify with him, but as an NBA employee you have to try to contain yourself a little bit.

  2. nokoolaidcowboy - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    This is BS. The guys tweets do not officially reflect the organizations views and are off his personal account. Free speech.

    Personally, I think twitter is for teenage girls to fawn over celebrities but whatever floats your boat.

    • RavenzGunnerz - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      Twitter is my only trusted source of news because I do not trust CNN, MSNBC and FOX news.

      • drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        Why the downthumbs? All major news outlets get their cues from their corporate sponsors.

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Check out After you weed through the “cute” animal pictures, you can find some really great information. And since anyone can post, you usually get information a day or two quicker than the regular news sites.

      • kinggw - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM


        Your attitude explains why people these days are so misinformed. People think that news is only the things that they want or choose to believe and limit their consumption to outlets that tell them what they want to hear. I can understand not trusting cable news outlets, but trusting twitter to be your primary news source is asinine. Say what you want about corporate sponsors, major networks like NBC,ABC, and CBS aren’t going to risk putting a blatantly false story on their networks because there would be consequences. People on blogs and twitter feeds don’t have that same burden, and like corporately sponsored news broadcasts, they also have an agenda. While the major news outlets sometimes miss obscure stories they almost never do this:

    • pistolpeatear - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Freedom of Speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences

      • au1978 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Thanks, I’m going to use that in the future. :-)

    • spursareold - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Once again: The First amendment ONLY applies to government suppression of speech, not to employment consequences. If you go in and tell your boss to F off, do you REALLY think you’re covered by the First Amendment? Think again. You’re fired.

      • casualcommenter - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        EXACTLY. It’s honestly embarrassing how many people don’t understand what the First Amendment actually protects.

        If your understanding of the First Amendment is that you have the right to say what you want, whenever you want, and nobody can ever punish you or hold your words against you, then you need to pick up a 4th grader’s social studies textbook and read up on the US Constitution.

    • drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      And thus we see how we are controlled–in completely legal ways–by our country’s power brokers. If you fear being fired, you won’t badmouth your company.

    • ranfan12 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      People have been losing jobs over social media for years lol. I remember when myspace was in the news because of it

  3. RavenzGunnerz - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    I was with him all the way until he went full conspiracy… If you don’t have evidence of rigging, then please don’t go there. You lost support, like mine.

    • chunkala - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      Counterargument: where’s your evidence that it wasn’t rigged. Why should he have the burden of proof placed squarely on him?

      • RavenzGunnerz - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        You are accusing. You are the one who should present evidence. You can say that somebody is a murderer, and it’s up to him to prove that he is not a murderer… lol

      • drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        2006 Finals, Exhibit A.

        Tim Donaghy, Exhibit B.

      • paleihe - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        Drew: If the 2006 finals were rigged for Miami, why wasn’t the 2011 finals rigged? Same two teams.

        Did the masterminds behind the rig feel bad for Dirk? Did they really hate James and it was actually rigged, but for the Mavs this time? And what other finals games have been rigged? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

  4. chunkala - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Lawyer time:
    1) Do fallible human beings ever do anything illegal to profit from them (monetary or personally)?
    2) Do fallible human beings ever make mistakes on purpose?

    You and the rest of the media just run wild with the assumption that umps/refs/officials call these games on the up and up without any evidence to support it. People usually cater to their own interests. If the Interests meet opportunity then the ref will choose to do what Best suits them. You hand out this badge of integrity simply because a man is walking around in an officials’ uniform? Madness.

    When you check out Refs/Umps/Officials calls on replay their are only 2 options to consider – they are either completely incompetent at rigging the calls in their own personal interest. MLB being the worst offender because the calls are so obvious after reviewing replay.

  5. spursareold - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Danny Crawford should not be allowed to ref Mavs games, ever.

    Joey Crawford should not be allowed to ref Spurs games, ever.

    Both have exhibited clear bias towards said franchises, and are no longer impartial arbiters of the game.

  6. drewsylvania - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    The NBA is so obviously corrupt that it’s unwatchable. They should thank ESPN for boosting them every chance they get–it’s the only reason they’re not even further behind the NHL in attendance.

  7. RavenzGunnerz - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

  8. shawtiernan - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    If you drive by the arena in Miami, Wade is still shooting free throws.

    • spursareold - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      …on one leg.

  9. hryanana - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    How is it whining Feldman?? He’s voicing the thoughts of so many NBA fans. We have replay and things like that happen? It’s a mockery. He’s voicing the frustrations of thousands using freedom of speech, so are you, but you just sound dumb in this article. You sound like you’re trying to kiss ass incase you apply for an NBA paycheque sometime soon.

  10. au1978 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    The suspension probably was a result of the rigging tweet. The rest were pretty light weight.

  11. sumkat - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    While I agree that NBA refs are terrible, and are much worse than their college counterparts, I think it has more to do with favoring/penalizing certain players. IMO, I usually don’t see it extend to entire teams.

    I think the NHL clearly holds that dubious distinction. I’ve seen more games change because the refs put their whistles in their pockets (usually to “even out” the pp chances, which make 0 sense if those pp chances were justified) than I have in the NBA

    But I’ve seen more games decides in the NBA because they let certain players do whatever they want on the court (players who generally already have a talent advantage), than any other sport.

    Maybe it’s just the nature of the 2 sports (Hockey more of a team dominated game, NBA more of a team game dominated by individuals) and the nba really is the worst. But it’s definitely debatable

  12. jolink653 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    You can’t take public shots at your employer, whether you work for a small office, the government or a professional sports franchise. If you constantly criticize in a public forum, eventually your boss is gonna get angry and punish you, and that’s what happened here. Twitter seems to cause more problems than anything else

  13. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I have never cried about a game like that, not to myself and certainly not on twitter or to friends. Don’t compare him to me (the fans).

  14. mackcarrington - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:25 PM

    Maybe if he had only made oneTweet the league might have let it slide. But he just kept laying it on and wouldn’t let up.
    Plus, the fact that he is employed by the team gives the league the right to suspend him, even for chickens!it.

  15. gman1092 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    You work for a company And go on social network criticizing it you are going to get fired.You can talk freedom of speech all you want.your employed by the company.don’t like your job!! Find another one. He’s always whining. How about Cuban build a better team.

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