Teams could be fined directly if a player violates anti-tampering rules
The NBA has made its stance clear, sending a league-wide memo to prevent players making comments about impending free agents while they’re still employed by a franchise. Several small-market general managers had expressed dismay at the way the league allowed LeBron James’ comments to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, as he said it would be “amazing” and “incredible” if the Lakers could somehow acquire New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
The NBA league office viewed James’ comments as candid and did not punish the Los Angeles Lakers star, as they found no evidence of an ulterior motive or reverberating unison with the franchise in efforts to lure Davis out of town.
Yet under this recent memo, the league stressed that if these actions repeat themselves, teams could be fined for their players’ actions if found to violate the terms of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“While the NBA won’t punish players for individual comments on interest with playing with another team’s player, “if there are other aggravating factors — such as sustained public recruiting or evidence that the player making such a comment is coordinating with his team — then there may be a basis for a tampering violation.”
This only serves as a way to keep players from toeing the line with their comments on other players under contract, with the NBA coming in loud and clear with this recent statement — knock it off with Anthony Davis.
Since James’ comments, the Pelicans have dealt with an onslaught of press surrounding Davis and delving into his future aspirations — a distraction that has now spilled onto his teammates, coaches and front office personnel — now somehow responsible for answering questions about Davis’ impending free agency and the decisions that might stem from it.