Next fine: Hawks owner goes hypothetical LeBron

May, 27, 2010
5/27/10
12:55
PM CT
Atlanta Hawks owner Michael Gearon today joined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Phoenix Suns president Steve Kerr as contributors to the NBA's LeBron James Tampering Fund (LBJTF).

The league smacked Gearon with a $25,000 fine for his May 19 comments that violated NBA anti-tampering rules in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"If somebody came to us tomorrow and said you can have LeBron for max money and it puts you in the luxury tax, I'd do it in a heartbeat," Gearon told the paper. "But am I going to do that for (Cavs center Zydrunas) Ilgauskas? Am I going to do it for Jermaine O'Neal? I don't think so."

Cha-ching.

Cuban still leads the league with the largest fine at $100,000 for saying he's "hopeful" that LeBron will choose to do a sign-and-trade with the Mavs. Kerr chipped in $10,000 for a tongue-in-cheek comment about paying LeBron the mid-level exception -- about $5.5 million -- next season.

It is fascinating how the NBA is scaling the severity of tampering and the ensuing fines for each offender. Apparently a nominal fee will be charged for cracking wise about LeBron's potential free agency such as Kerr did. They'll take the fine up a notch if the tamperer presents a hypothetical situation as Gearon did, and quadruple that when someone like Cuban offers up a potentially real scenario.

To all NBA owners and front-office personnel, repeat after me: When asked about LeBron James or any other potential free agent, the only proper response is, "No Comment."

OK, who's next to contribute to the LBJTF?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Rick Carlisle

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Galloway & Company: Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Mark Cuban talk

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: The Standoff

Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ramona Shelburne

ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Buy or sell

Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.6 2.7 0.9 32.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.8
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2