The league said Tuesday that the Clippers had made a presentation to the then-free agent on July 2 that improperly included a potential third-party endorsement opportunity. League rules prohibit teams from arranging for others to provide compensation for a player unless it is included in a contract or is otherwise permitted by the collective bargaining agreement.
"We believed we were doing this the right way, and any circumvention was inadvertent," Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a letter obtained by the Orange County Register. "In our effort to support our players in every way possible, we as an organization must be diligent in complying with the CBA."
The NBA said the endorsement opportunity didn't impact Jordan's decision to re-sign with the Clippers.
A source told ESPN's Darren Rovell that the presentation the Clippers gave happened before Jordan even went to visit Dallas, so it didn't have an impact on his decision, and he didn't wind up doing the sponsorship deal.
Jordan eventually decided to stay with the Clippers after initially giving a verbal commitment to a deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
"As we, and the basketball world observed, DJ ultimately chose to stay with the Clippers because he felt it was his best opportunity to win a championship, and because of his desire to remain part of the Clippers family," Ballmer said.
Information from ESPN's Darren Rovell and The Associated Press was used in this report.