Sam Cassell is known (mostly) for two things: 1) being one of the ugliest players in NBA history [Gollum, as Charles Barkley once famously said]; and 2) his “Big Balls” dance that would come after any big crunch time basket. After the NBA began fining players $15,000 for imitating the legendary dance — Marco Bellineli received the first one during last year’s playoffs, and Caron Butler and Andray Blatche have both been penalized this season — ESPN’s Marc Stein set out to discover Cassell’s thoughts on his legacy, and the league’s penalties:
“Obscene gesture?” Cassell bellowed, shaking his head disapprovingly.
I’m guessing you don’t need much help to picture the look of wide-eyed, bad-call dismay on Cassell’s face when he said it.
The truth is that Cassell, now that he’s fully ensconced in the NBA’s coaching ranks in his sixth season as an assistant on the Wizards’ bench, wasn’t about to publicly protest as vociferously as he might have if he were still playing. But he left me with little doubt that he’s as unimpressed by the new policy as Butler was.
Stein further reported that Cassell is somewhat honored by the fact players still do it, citing a moment in the 2009 playoffs when Kobe Bryant busted it out, cementing its place in history.