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Magic's Jameer Nelson would do celebration again, despite fine

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson hit a big shot against the Chicago Bulls this past week and celebrated with a very suggestive motion. It mimics the celebration made famous by both Sam Cassell on the basketball court and Dennis Haysbert in the movie "Major League 2." The league no longer accepts this celebration as a family friendly moment in a basketball game and has been fining players for celebrating this way.

Nelson was slapped with a $15,000 fine after his celebration, but it doesn't mean he wouldn't do it again if the moment happens. According to Fox Sports Florida, the point guard said he'd do it again for the Magic fans to get excited in such an emotional moment.

After nailing a fallaway jump shot over 6-foot-11 Bulls center Joakim Noah to tie the score late in regulation, the 6-foot-1 Nelson ran back towards the Magic bench cupping his hands in a gesture that had been made famous -- or infamous -- by the now-retired Sam Cassell.

"I accept the fine," Nelson said Friday at the Magic's shootaround before their game against the Charlotte Bobcats. "Hopefully I won't get emotional again. If I have to pay $15,000 for our fans to get excited I'll do it again."

Nelson came within a point of tying his career high when he poured in 31 against the Bulls. The 30 field goals he shot were a season high for any Magic player, and his 13 3-point attempts tied Arron Afflalo's total on Dec. 3 in a double-overtime loss at Philadelphia.

"If I offended anyone, I'm sorry," he said. "Basketball is a fun game, and you get emotional. You never see my emotions, but you did that game."

What's the big deal about a celebration that could just be a player miming awkwardly carrying giant bags of dog food?

Keep fighting the good fight, Jameer. Many of us are behind you.

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