The Atlanta Hawks have been fined by the NBA for tampering along with two other teams. The Hawks are the only team to have addressed the situation on Monday, and the other two franchises haven’t been released by the league.
USA Today Sports obtained an internal league memo that breaks down the reasoning behind the fines.
“The conduct at issue involved statements by a team employee to the media, a team email to prospective season ticket purchasers, and articles posted online on a team website, each related to players who are currently under contract to other teams but who will become free agents this summer,” the memo explains.
In terms of the Hawks, they sent a letter to their perspective ticket buyers that mentioned Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul and Lakers center Dwight Howard as possible future signees. By doing so, the team broke an NBA tampering policy that states teams are not allowed to discuss their interest in players who are under contract with other teams.
Here’s what the Hawks’ letter to possible ticket buyers said, which was sent to USA Today Sports via email: “The buzz around our offseason is more than heating up,” the Hawks’ letter, which was sent via e-mail, said. “With massive cap space, 4 draft picks, and free agency rapidly approaching, we sit in the best position in the NBA. Player interest is skyrocketing as the possibilities of landing Chris Paul & Dwight Howard become more and more of a reality. This is your opportunity to get on board before its [sic] too late. Once we solidify our signings there will be no seats left.”
Both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will become free agents on July 1, so signing them isn’t out of the question for the Hawks. Nevertheless, they spoke too soon and are now paying the price for it.
Have you ever seen an NBA tampering issue around the league before?
[Image via Creative Commons | Mike Gonzalez]