PBT- The NBA announced today that it has fined the Los Angeles Clippers $250,000 for violating NBA rules prohibiting teams from offering players unauthorized business or investment opportunities.
The violation involved a presentation made by the Clippers to free agent DeAndre Jordan on July 2 that improperly included a potential third-party endorsement opportunity for the player. While the NBA’s investigation ultimately concluded that the presentation of this opportunity had no impact on Jordan’s decision to re-sign with the Clippers, the team’s conduct nevertheless violated the league’s anti-circumvention rules.
The NBA’s anti-circumvention rules prohibit teams from, among other things, providing or arranging for others to provide any form of compensation to a player unless such compensation is included in a player contract or otherwise expressly permitted under the CBA.
So, this is basically just the NBA's way of admitting that the Clippers did nothing wrong, right? I mean, if the purpose of a fine is to discourage a team, or other teams, from similar behavior in the future than a quarter million dollar fine isn't exactly cutting it. We are talking about a team that shelled out $88 million dollars, as well as solid chunk of time during their offseason, to lure DeAndre back to Los Angeles. If they really acted against the letter of the law in doing so I would suggest a monetary penalty that reaches AT LEAST seven figures. If I were Steve Ballmer I would write that check but instead of signing it I would put on lipstick and kiss that baby right where it calls for a John Hancock. Just as a sign of gratitude to show that the Clippers appreciate the league letting them of the hook for their slightly questionable antics during the free agency period.
The funny thing is that the Clippers are technically being fined for offering up third party endorsement opportunities to a potential member of their roster. Which is fine, except for the fact that it's exactly the same thing that the Lakers and Knicks did in their failed attempts to woo free agents. Again, not complaining, but it really just shows that the league had nothing concrete to penalize them for. They are basically just paying a small fee, relatively speaking, for taking advantage of an extremely stupid moratorium period that the NBA still has in place for some reason. The league knows that, the Clippers know that, and all the teams around the league desperately offering up advertisement money to free agents know that. Whatever, $250K is pocket change. Ballmer should send $300K in cash and tell them to keep the change. Just don't take it out of the money that's been stashed aside for their first night out on the town after DeAndre Jordan helps them win the Larry O'Brien trophy.