Washington Wizards Owner Leonsis Fined $100,000 for Labor Talks Comments

The National Basketball Association fined Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis $100,000 for speaking without permission about talks surrounding a new collective bargaining agreement.

Leonsis, 53, told a group of businessmen in northern Virginia yesterday that he favored a hard salary cap, similar to the one used by the National Hockey League, and that it may be introduced in the future in the NBA. Basketball teams now may exceed the league salary cap if they are willing to pay a luxury tax.

The league and players’ union are negotiating on a new collective bargaining agreement to take effect next summer.

“In a salary cap era -- and soon a hard salary cap in the NBA like it’s in the NHL -- if everyone can pay the same amount to the same amount of players, it’s the small nuanced differences that matter,” Leonsis, who also owns the Washington Capitals of the NHL, said according to the Associated Press.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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