NBA Sends Memo To Teams Detailing Efforts To Prevent Tampering
The NBA in an "effort to prevent tampering" has sent a "memo to teams about improving compliance," according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The memo "proposes that a lead team ops member certify annually that it didn't engage in impermissible free agency talks." The maximum fine amounts for tampering would be "raised significantly." Among the proposed increases in the league's maximum fine penalties for tampering and cap circumvention include a $10M fine, up from $5M, for "tampering with player/team personnel" and a $6M team fine or $250,000 player fine for "unauthorized agreements." Further proposed rules include "increased enforcement of existing rule prohibiting player-to-player tampering; require team governor to certify no unauthorized benefits were offered/provided; investigatory audits of 5 teams annually, at random." Sources said that NBA owners as part of potential new guidelines "must personally certify that every contract complies with all rules." Teams would be "required to report, within 24 hours, of a player/agent soliciting unauthorized benefits or contact regarding contract matters" (TWITTER.com, 9/14).
HARD TO REGULATE: In N.Y., Stefan Bondy noted in the "wake of a high-profile free agency that dominated the NBA narrative for an entire season," Commissioner Adam Silver "acknowledged in July the league allowed 'some slippage' with tampering rules before free agency and he was contemplating ways to crack down." There is "no fail-safe solution." Nets GM Sean Marks said that Kevin Durant "committed to the Nets before he knew he'd be offered a contract." A source said that the Nets were "confident deals for Durant and Kyrie Irving were done the day before free agency." But that "doesn't necessarily mean the Nets organization tampered." There are "many different avenues for recruitment and information without a direct line between player/agent and the team" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/15). NBA TV's Steve Smith said, "You look at it, player-to-player, how can you be able to police guys as far as their cell phones and interactions? These guys have relationships." He added, "If you get penalized and you keep getting penalized, then that's when you start to see teams or players back off" ("NBA GameTime," NBA TV, 9/15).