Posted on: October 26, 2010 6:10 pm

League will investigate Knicks report

League will investigate allegations of illegal draft workouts. Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the league will investigate the report from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski this afternoon that the New York Knicks egregiously and repeatedly violated league rules concerning pre-draft workouts, according to a league spokesman. As we discussed earlier , if the allegations are true, the league will be in a sticky place with the Knicks due to the level to which they've mortgaged their future already.

The Knicks have left the office with very little room if this is on target, but at the same time, the league's also been instrumental in trying to guide the franchise back to health. It needs its biggest and best market's team to be competitive, to be succesful, and to not be stuck in purgatory for another ten years as it was under Isiah Thomas. What's worse, the regime put in place after consulting with Stern's office, featuring Donnie Walsh, was complicit in these repeated violations. This is a massively complicated sticky for the league which managed the storm of the Donaghy scandal admirably.

A seven-figure fine as suggested by our own Ben Golliver earlier, along with the loss of multiple first round draft picks? Wouldn't really hurt the Knicks. They've already sent off multiple picks to clear space for a free agent that didn't come, and their future plans still hinge on their draw as a free agent locale and trade opportunities. And the Knicks make money when their team is horrible. A fine unless it's eight figures, isn't going to even touch this franchise.

This one could get much messier, much faster. And, you know, not like David Stern's got anything else going on... with the CBA. And lockout. And stuff.


Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:53 am
Edited on: October 17, 2010 3:19 pm

Gilbert Arenas's fine is a drop in the bucket

Arenas fined $50,000 by league for faking injury
Posted by Matt Moore

Gilbert Arenas has paid his debt to society after spending a month in a detention center earlier this year following his sentencing for felony gun possession. Now apparently he's decided to start working on paying his debt to the league, since he keeps finding inventive ways to send them dough.

The Wizards fined Arenas $50,000 for lying to Flip Saunders about an injury in order to get more time for Nick Young on the floor. It's a pretty healthy chunk of change. And it's not the first or last time Arenas has shelled out some dough to the league.

In 2009, Arenas was fined $25,000 for refusing to speak to the media during the preseason. Prior to that he was fined $7,500 for criticizing offiicials. And, you know, all the court fees, lawyer fees, and dough lost during his suspension last season. Add all that up and it's enough to take a huge.... nothing out of his income. Arenas makes $216,227 per game this season. Subtract all the mone he's paid in fines over the past three years from his first paycheck this year and he'd still have over $133,000 to buy all the gold-plated guns he wants.

And that's got to partially be why Arenas fails to change his behavior. Sure, you'd expect maturity, or maybe even simple deductive logic to take some sort of effect, but I think we can agree that ship has sailed. In the meantime, only punitive efforts can hope to alter his behavior, and, well, they're not getting the job done. This isn't to say that Arenas needs to be fined more, or have any harsher punishments handed down. What he did simply wasn't a big deal. But if we wonder why Arenas fails to take anything seriously, why he acts petulant and immature regarding all of these public relations disaster and his lone criminal act which was very much dangerous to himself and others, perhaps it's that vantage point of perspective that he's incapable of reaching. No matter what's happened to him, his life isn't very much different. He gets paid, still, and while losing last year's salary was surely a blow, he is making $17 million this season, which probably makes the recovery path a bit easier.

$50,000 is a stiff slap on the wrist from the Wizards, and yet it's a drop in the bucket, just as this latest silly act was a drop in the bucket of his facepalm-worthy moments.

This is Arenas. And he isn't changing. And all the fines won't even make him blink. Unless, you know, the owners manage to make contracts non-guaranteed. But then we'll have bigger issues because hell will have frozen over.
Posted on: August 19, 2010 7:11 pm

Fernandez fined $25k for comments

Blazers forward fined $25,000 for comments by agent about wanting out of Portland.
Posted by Matt Moore

The path out of a guaranteed contract in the NBA is a messy, and often expensive, affair. Rudy Fernandez is getting a head-start on what that kind of divorce looks like.

The NBA today fined Fernandez $25,000 for "public statements detrimental to the NBA" according to an NBA release. It's assumed that Fernandez was fined for comments made by his agent regarding a desire to end his time in the NBA and return to Europe. Fernandez' agent spoke with both Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports and HoopsHype.com about Fernandez' desire for a split with the Blazers. Via HoopsHype:

“The impression I’m getting more and more is that he’s lost interest in playing in the NBA, quite frankly,” Miller said. “It’s my impression that Rudy would prefer to be in Europe rather than the NBA at this point.”

The fine is a pretty standard reaction from the league, which automatically fines a player that makes a public trade or release request. Granted the multiple reports which have indicated both Carmelo Anthoney and Chris Paul requesting trades make for an easy loophole, but it's an important distinction. You have to provide the league and your team with plausible deniability. Your agent going on record about you wanting out doesn't exactly provide a lot of wiggle room.

For what it's worth, Rich Cho, the new GM of the Blazers told Spears that they're not in any hurry to do anything about Fernandez. Fernandez' situation is particular, but GMs are always wary of setting precdents which could lead to other situations. The cold hard truth is that Fernandez is under contract with the NBA. If the Blazers don't want to let him go, they don't have to. And if he doesn't play, he doesn't get paid. Unlike the other superstars looking for a new zipcode this summer, Fernandez doesn't have much in the way of leverage.

And the NBA certainly isn't going to be helping him out.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com