On Sunday afternoon, Eddie House hit a huge three-pointer the way a guy like Eddie House would. Big-time, clutch and off a pass from a player who’d drawn defenders to him. Classic Eddie House, really. He promptly celebrated by appropriating Sam Cassell’s huevos grande dance. All was good with the worlds of the genital gesticulations and the Miami Heat.
Monday afternoon he was fined $25,000. Whoops.
Wednesday afternoon, he talked about it. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
“I was very surprised, the first time being fined,” House said after Wednesday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, his first expansive comments on the fine. “I’ve always followed the rules and stuff like that. It was just the emotion of the game.” [...]
“I know Sam used to do it and I don’t think he got fined for it,” House said. “So I thought it was something within the game that I was going to be able to do, not like thinking, ‘I’m going to do this.’ But, at the end of the day, my emotions took over. I was surprised. I was very surprised. And it was a steep fine, too, very steep, without a warning.”
Ah, yes, the classic “within the game” defense, which certainly applies to a celebration where you act like you have enormous testicles. Just like Dr. James Naismith included in his “13 Rules of Basketball.” No. 12, of course, reads like so: “If a player makes a big three-pointer, said player should and will be allowed to act as if he’s got gigantic stones. No fines shall be assessed for this action.” It’s a celebration as old as the game itself.
Joking aside, the fine is expensive for a first-time offender. That being said, this is a different NBA than the one Sam Cassell’s nuts played in, even though his nuts retired just three years ago. Taunting — and that’s what this is considered despite it being more of a patting of one’s own back/junk — is frowned upon by David Stern. And when David Stern gets to frowning, he gets to fining. Tough break for Edward House, but not totally unexpected.
And really, he should be thankful the only punishment he’s getting is a fine from the league. If Sam I Am had trademarked this back when it was his trademark, House’s fine would be astronomical. David Stern is nothing compared to United States copyright law.