NBA lifts suspension of ranting Mavericks’ PA announcer but fines team $25K

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (far left) yells at officials during overtime.

Kevin Jairaj/Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks public-address announcer Sean Heath will be back at his desk Saturday night, after the NBA rescinded its two-game suspension of him as punishment for his recent Twitter rant against league officials. The NBA elected to fine the Mavericks $25,000 instead.

Heath took to Twitter after an April 1 game to criticize league officials for missing a goaltending call on Golden State‘s Jermaine O’Neal that occurred in the game’s final seconds, allowing Stephen Curry to sink the game-winning shot for the Warriors. One of Heath’€™s tweets stated the Mavericks’ loss is why the NBA 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 told ESPNDallas.com.

Another source told ESPN that the fact Heath is a contract worker and not technically a team employee made his suspension a "legally complicated issue."

The NBA suspended Heath on Thursday, but had allowed the Mavericks to delay the suspension until Saturday in order to find a replacement. The league also acknowledged that the call was missed and apologized the day after the game.

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