Though few fines have been made public yet, the NBA has gotten the word out that any unapproved contact between team employees or players -- or any on-record discussion of NBA players (including tweeting) -- will result in a massive fine from the league. Even if the league has to fine the greatest player to ever play in the league.
Michael Jordan owns the Charlotte Bobcats, and while you'd think the idea of leeway would be best utilized on someone who carried the league to then-record profits and TV ratings during the 1990s, M.J. is still technically not allowed to mention any NBA players by name in talks with the media during the lockout. He's not really allowed to discuss any aspect of the lockout, how it relates to the players -- and he's certainly not supposed to be discussing how the lockout affects particular players while speaking to local papers in a player's home country.
"We have stars like Bogut who are entitled to certain type of demands. But for us to be profitable in small markets, we have to be able to win ballgames and build a better basketball team."
"Bogut is a good piece to build around for Milwaukee," Jordan said.
"I love Bogut's game. He's made a very good start and he's definitely gonna be a star. His big problem is that he's been dealing with that elbow injury. But he is a star to be reckoned with (and) will be a star for some time."
You know that Australia has the Internet, right M.J.? And that they can put their newspapers online? Did you not read OnHoops.com, the first NBA blog, in the 1990s? The guys that ran that place were Australian, back when Bill Simmons was just a glimmer in the Boston Herald's eye. Although, good on ya for using the word "reckoned" in Oz.
It's more than a little ridiculous that any team employee, much less someone of Jordan's stature (as a player, at least; he's been pretty dodgy as a team executive), should have to watch what they say on record during this lockout. Especially in a place like Australia; because while Aussies love their NBA as a whole, of course the local press is going to ask you about Andrew Bogut at some point in an interview. As long as Jordan isn't tampering with another team's player, then what's the problem?
Chalk it up to another thing we just can't quite understand about the NBA's take during this stalemate. Hope you brought your checkbook down under, M.J.
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