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NBA Fines Referee Ken Mauer Over Incident With Suns' Zabian Dowdell

There's a lot of important things going on the the NBA right now. The playoffs are underway and Phoenix rivals Lakers and Spurs are both down 0-1 in their series. The Heat look like the team everyone thought they would be, before they decided they weren't, but once again think they are. In Phoenix there's the little issue of the upcoming NBA Draft (June 23) and hanging over everything, of course, is the specter of an NBA lockout staring July 1 when the current CBA expires.

There was, however, the one small matter of the ugly incident that happened on the court at the end Suns' season in the final minutes of a blowout loss to the the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 30.

With 1:05 left in the game, NBA official Ken Mauer suddenly ejected Suns' rookie third-string point guard Zabian Dowdell. Aaron Brooks quickly followed Z to the locker room for an early shower. 

After the game it was reported that Mauer had told Dowdell "to stop being a little bitch". Dowdell said something back and Brooks get involved also which prompted Mauer to toss them both.

The NBA has given SB Nation Arizona the following statement on the results of their investigation of the incident:

"Both Kenny Mauer and Zabian Dowdell were fined after a review of the situation. While we do not believe Mauer used the language that was reported, his actions were still deemed to be inappropriate."

At the time of the incident the Suns instructed their players not to talk about what had happened. Dowdell, in a locker room interview, did acknowledge he was disrespected by the ref and that he asked Mauer if he would say that to him off the court.

Mauer is a convicted felon, having been found guilty in in 2000 of three counts of tax evasion and one count of obstruction of justice related to income from airline tickets that he and many other officials reportedly sold. Mauer was sentenced to five months in jail, five months of home detention, three years of supervised release and 800 hours of community service according to an AP report from 2001.