Cuban fined $100,000 for comments on LeBron
NEW YORK (AP) – The NBA won’t tolerate its teams talking about prospective free agents yet.
The league fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $100,000 Saturday for comments made about free-agent-to-be LeBron James that violated the league’s anti-tampering rules.
Phoenix Suns president Steve Kerr also was fined $10,000 for comments he made in a radio interview.
Teams are not allowed to talk about another team’s players until July 1, when free agency opens. Commissioner David Stern said recently that his clubs had done well following the rules, even as fans and the media continue to speculate about what James and fellow free agents in summer’s class might do.
Asked on Tuesday night before the draft lottery about what teams were allowed to do, Stern said: “Come July 1, just about everything goes. Before July 1, nothing goes.”
In an interview this week with CNNMoney.com, Cuban said “anybody” would be interested in James. Cuban said it would be tough to sign the two-time MVP in free agency, but said the Mavericks would have a chance if James told the Cavaliers to arrange a sign-and-trade deal.
Cuban didn’t immediately return an e-mail from The Associated Press.
Asked by Sports Illustrated’s Dan Patrick in a May 14 show if the Suns would be in the James’ sweepstakes, Kerr joked that they would be willing to give him the mid-level exception, worth about $5.6 million – about $11 million less than the superstar could sign for .