Exclusive Video: Mavs Lockout Nicknames
Do the wrong thing, or say the wrong thing, while the NBA is locked out, and commissioner David Stern will crack the financial whip.
We've seen this in play starting last summer, when Stern fined Wizards owner Ted Leonsis $100,000 for comments about the owners' desire for a hard salary cap. Then came this summer's comments from Bobcats boss Michael Jordan about the system being "broken.'' And this week, Miami owner Micky Arison is being hit with a $500,000 penalty after using Twitter to express some views on the labor situation.
To what extend does the league want to control this? NBA employees are not allowed to be in contact with players. At all. That means Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki have to get league permission to attend the ESPY's together. It means a player like Roddy Beaubois must get medical advice from someone outside of the Mavs' medical staff. And it means even at a fun event as innocuous as the recent "Basketball 101 For Women'' event at the AAC, coach Rick Carlisle and his staff must be careful to avoid letting the words "Dirk,'' "Jet,'' "Marion,'' "Kidd'' and "Tyson Chandler'' cross their lips.
So instead of "Dirk,'' "Jet,'' "Marion,'' "Kidd'' and "Tyson Chandler,'' assistant coach Stotts must run mock plays while referring to players "Hans,'' "Airplane,'' "Keanu,'' "Childs'' and "Tim Chalmers'':
I say it's overzealousness on the part of the league. I say it's careful and clever on the part of the Mavs. And what do the Mavs themselves say?
As Terry Stotts shows, what the Mavs themselves say is, "Hans,'' "Airplane,'' "Keanu,'' "Childs'' and "Tim Chalmers.''