Tag:Tampering
Posted on: February 23, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Melo Trade: Is there a case for collusion?

Carmelo Anthony joins Amar'e Stoudemire in New York. Thing is, that's becoming for a while, and we know that because... Amar'e told us so.
Posted by Matt Moore




On July 4th, 2010, Amar'e Stoudemire, before he signed with the New York Knicks, spoke to reporters outside of a Broadway show he was catching during his visit with the Knicks. It should have been a simple quote. "Excited to look at my options, happy to visit New York, it's a great city, blah blah blah." Instead, Amar're dropped this. 

"I've talked to Carmelo Anthony that he needs to come out here," Stoudemire said. "I've talked to Tony Parker. Both guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here. So we will see if we can work it out."

This got slipped by national media because it was July, in the NBA, July 4th, a holiday, and because everyone in sports media was focused on LeBron James and anything he would do.  And hey, it was crazy. When would multiple All-Stars ever team up, right? Right?

You know the punchline, there. 

But as we stand here nearly eight months later, you've got to look at this. You have an All-Star, before he signed with the Knicks, telling another All-Star who is under contract with another team that he needs to come out and join him on the Knicks. Eight months later, Anthony forces a trade to the Knicks. 

Tampering and collusion have been hot topics in the NBA since the Heat formed this summer. The Cavs considered a lawsuit againt the Heat for tampering with LeBron. And the league had to comment on the issue of collusion this summer, saying they would not get involved. But in the reflection of the Melo deal, the question has to be asked. 

Was how the Melo acquisition occurred within the peramters of NBA policy?

There is Stoudemire, on record, during conversations with the Knicks, openly stating he is lobbying for Anthony to join him. From that moment on, the Anthony-to-New-York talk snowballed into a frenzy, then caught fire and threatened to swallow us whole in a black mass of hype, suffocating us beyond all... sorry. It was  arough few months. Nonetheless, we can trace back what we saw at the introductory press conference for Melo as a Knick back to this comment in July, which garnered little scrutiny. It's time for people to take notice. These events are not occuring organically, they're not being conducted in good faith. Players have their agendas, and the teams involved may or may not have been involved in the influence of one player upon another.  This isn't to say New York was behind Amar'e's comments to Melo, there's absolutely no proof of that.

But we do see this. 
1. Player A talks to New York in free agency.

2. Player A tells media he's called Player B, who's under contract with another team, and tells him to join him in New York. 

3. Player A signs with New York.

4. Player B has representatives leak to media that he wants to be traded and New York is his only option due to his leverage with his upcoming free agency.

5. Player A says he has not talked to Player B about the situation, suspiciously. 

6. Player B is traded to New York.

That's a pretty suspicious line of events for nothing to have gone on. Players are not being slick with this at this point, because the league has made it clear it's not going to get involved in such discussions. But in the interest of competitive fairness, it has an obligation to its owners in these markets who are now bleeding All-Stars toward New York to ensure that everything is being conducted within the confines of NBA policy.

This isn't to say there's anything wrong with allowing it. It's every player's right to want to work where they want to, and their right to talk to whomever they wish. As long as the teams aren't involved, there's nothing wrong with allowing this kind of thing. But in that instance, the league needs to make a statement that there's no problem with players impacting players currently under contact.  Amar'e wasn't a Knick yet, so there's a possibility he could have wound up somewhere else had talks gone differently. But they didn't, and he is. And now so's Melo. 

For the fans of the other 23 teams outside of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and Miami, you have to wonder if there's something amiss in how things are being handled. 
Posted on: December 2, 2010 11:50 am
Edited on: December 2, 2010 11:57 am
 

Ilgauskas thinks fans need some perspective

Former Cav suggests that maybe we're all going a little nuts over Heat-Cavs Thursday night.
Posted by Matt Moore


Zydrunas Ilgauskas isn't hated in Cleveland like LeBron James is for his defection to the Heat. He may even receive a fair amount of cheers tonight when introduced. He was a career-long Cavalier until this season when he joined his friend to try and win that championship that has held itself beyond his reach. So he's got a pretty good perspective on all the elements, people, and feelings going on as James returns to Cleveland. But with the tampering charges being investigated by Dan Gilbert, Ilgauskas isn't quite feeling polite about the hoopla regarding James' return. As he told NBA FanHouse:

"That's chasing ghosts right there," he told FanHouse while shaking his head. "Let bygones be bygones. There are more important things in life: people dying from cancer every day, kids dying every day, people having HIV, people fighting wars. There are more important things than the Miami Heat going back to Cleveland.

"Let's put life in perspective, it's just a basketball game."
via LeBron James, Miami Heat Teammates React to Dan Gilbert's Tampering Probe -- NBA FanHouse .

I kind of want to hug Ilgauskas after this quote. His comments are in regards to the tampering charge specifically, but this statement needs to be made into T-Shirts, cofee mugs, and gigantic billboards on the sides of buildings. It's completely fine for Cleveland to be upset about this. It's important to them. But it's still just a basketball game.

You have to wonder with the increased security, tension, and pain being expressed over this game, if everyone hasn't lost sight of that fact.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:58 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2010 11:18 pm
 

Tampering and the price of Heat Stroke

The Miami Heat are being investigated by the Cavaliers regarding tampering charges. We look at the burden of proof and the possible fallout. Posted by Matt Moore

And boom goes the Comic Sans.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a high-powered Midwestern law firm to investigate their suspicions that the Miami Heat broke NBA tampering rules while pursuing LeBron Jamesnotes, and owner Dan Gilbert has privately vowed he won’t relent until he has a thick binder of findings to drop on the desk of the NBA commissioner, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

(via Cavaliers probing Heat's signing of James - NBA - Yahoo! Sports )

As Ken Berger elucidates , this is a sticky situation that 's going to be awfully difficult for Cleveland to prove. The burden of proof is obviously on Cleveland and you're trying to not only prove that the meetings took place but the conversations that occurred without recording or documentation and the context within which the conversations took place.

Still, if the Cavs do plop down the "binder" on Stern's desk, he's going to have to proceed with caution. He was already viewed as a willing participant in the Heat's summer shenanigans. With a thorough report on his desk he'll have to give it the consideration it requires. Not because Dan Gilbert levied it, but because word is that Gilbert wasn't the only owner concerned that something was amiss.

Fines aren't really going to be a big problem for the Heat were they to wind up guilty as charged, so to speak, since they're producing so much revenue thanks to the Big 3. Front office suspensions are hard to see as troublesome since Pat Riley is really the only one in charge, he's pretty much done his job for the year, and it's not like ownership is going to make a change away from Riley.

Which leaves draft picks. The Heat have traded or swapped the most picks they can over the next four years. Removing draft picks would mean losing high first round picks who aren't likely to get playing time on a team obviously committed to the veteran role player approach.

In other words, losing some draft picks and some dough to get LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh for six years, even if they're struggling now?

I believe the phrase is, "Worth it."

Whether it was moral or not, that's another, and possibly irrelevant question.

Boy, the owner talks about the CBA are going to loads of fun when Micky Arison and Dan Gilbert show up at the same time. Awkward.
Posted on: July 12, 2010 11:05 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 11:22 pm
 

So... what exactly is tampering?

Posted by Royce Young

With information beginning to surface on how things went down in Miami, the first thing most likely thought was, "Wow, that's crazy stuff." And after that, some probably thought, "Hey, isn't all that like tampering or something?" David Stern said it was not, even though Ken Berger thinks differently .

You know the word. You've heard it. But what really is "tampering"?

Basically, teams can't talk about players on other teams until July 1, the day free agency negotiations begin. Some even dubbed this the "LeBron James Rule" because that's really where most the fines stemmed from, especially recently. However, some form of tampering goes back as far as 1984 , where the NBA investigated illegal contact between teams and college stars Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon. So while the current definition really involves the media, tampering is essentially teams talking when they shouldn't be.

For instance, a couple cases from this offseason: Mark Cuban was famously fined $100,000 for what some might have perceived as innocent comments about LeBron; former Phoenix Suns President of Basketball Operations Steve Kerr was fined $10,000 for comments he made in a radio interview with Dan Patrick about LeBron; and Atlanta Hawks owner Michael Gearon, Jr. was fined $25,000 for comments he made to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about James.

To spare you a Google search, here's what the three said:

Cuban : "Come July 1, yeah, of course. Anybody would be interested in LeBron James and if he leaves via free agency, then it’s going to be tough. If he does like I’m guessing … which is say ‘I’m not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,’ then he’ll try to force a sign-and-trade and that gives us a chance."

Kerr : "Well, if he'll take mid-level, we'll give it to him." "What's mid-level?" Patrick said, referring to the mid-level exception for teams exceeding the salary cap. "About five and a half million," Kerr said. "I think he'll take it, don't you think?"

Gearon : "If somebody came to us tomorrow and said you can have LeBron for max money and it puts you in the luxury tax, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But am I going to do that for Ilgauskas? Am I going to do it for Jermaine O'Neal? I don't think so."

All three didn't seem like much. Kerr's were very clearly a joke. But that's exactly what the NBA anti-tampering rules try and prevent: whimsical, supposedly innocent comments to the media about potential free agents still under contract with another team. The rule appears simple. But as seen with Cuban's recent frustrations over the policy , it's not so black and white.

In 2008, the league sent a memo to the 30 NBA teams detailing specific guidelines when discussing potential free agents with the media.

The memo read: "If a member of your organization is asked by the media about a potential free agent prior to the July 1 following the last season covered by the player's contract, or about any other person under contract with another NBA team, the only proper response is to decline comment."

Penalties outlined in the memo could include suspension, prohibition of the offending team from hiring the person being tampered with, forfeiture of draft picks and individual and/or team fines of up to $5 million. But obviously, tampering extends past the media. It's about messing with other team's players period, whether that's through the media or through direct contact.

Other owners clearly feel like what Miami did was tampering . Meeting with players to talk about the future, mid-season, even if it's just supposedly about uniform numbers, feels like a violation of the rule. Or players meeting with players to discuss the future for that matter, though Stern said differently on Monday. But even if the league determined it was and levied the maximum $5 million fine against the Heat, I'm thinking Pat Riley would write that check with a big grin on his face. Small price to pay for the King I suppose.

(Read more about the theoretical case against the Heat from Ken Berger here .)

Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Mark Cuban wants re-evaluation of tampering rule

Posted by Royce Young

If you recall, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $100,000 for comments he made back in May in regards to LeBron James. The league determined his comments fell under the anti-tampering policy.

So with word out about Pat Riley and the Heat's escapades to bring Dwyane Wade, LeBron and Chris Bosh to Miami, Cuban is obviously peturbed .

"I'm going to bring it up to the league that we really do have to re-evaluate the issue of player tampering," Cuban said. "Who knows what will happen? But I have to suggest it to them because there has to be more definitive rules ... It’s not just the Cavs. It could be any team. It could be the Heat in a couple years. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. But there has to be a way to keep these guys away from each other for the last week anyway.”

It's obviously possible that Cuban will file his own charge. But with the deals already done, it's unlikely the NBA will take action right away anyway.

I'm sure the league just can't wait to talk to Cuban. But he's got a point. Cuban is fined six figures for a seemingly harmless comment in a newspaper. Riley is meeting with players. Wade is organizing summits. Discussion about moving teams is reportedly happening mid-season and in the playoffs for crying out loud. There's some real gray area in the rule and Cuban doing what he does best : making some noise
 
 
 
 
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