I’m not sure what’s more upsetting, the lack of knowledge regarding the origin of the “Big Ball Dance,” or that the NBA actually fines people for doing it. See, the origin of the Big Ball Dance dates back to 1994 and the release of Major League II. In the movie, Pedro Cerrano has made a transition from hot-head to peaceful lover, and a slump ensues. Japanese import Isuro Kamikaze Tanaka mocks Cerrano for being a sissy, and tells him one day in the locker room that he needs to sack up. Tanaka uses a dictionary to find the Japanese translation of balls and comically ends up saying Cerrano “has no marbles.”
The “no marbles” chant is used to goad Cerrano the rest of the movie. Angered by the taunts, Cerrano winds up hitting monster home runs and does the “Big Ball Dance” as a way to shut Tanaka up (as you can see above). The whole marbles thing is one aspect of the movie that was memorable, and that made it funny and cute. Every time I see an NBA player use that celebration, I think back to Major League II and laugh. But apparently someone in the commissioner’s office is clueless and taking things all the wrong way.