NBA fines Clippers for doing what every team seemingly does

August 25, 2015

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.

Initially viewed, the fine seems a bit curious. After all, it is fairly accepted practice that most NBA teams pitch free agents regarding potential off-the-court economic opportunities they might also have as a result of signing with their franchise.

Indeed earlier this summer the Los Angeles Lakers were criticized for overemphasizing just such "branding" opportunities to then free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. So clearly it is not new.

However, it appears the Clippers may have clumsily violated the official NBA rules on how to do this without being too obvious and thus earned this $250,000 slap.

By Staff of

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