Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined $100,000 for discussing his interest in Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James before the July 1 start of the National Basketball Association’s free agency.
Cuban’s comments during an online interview May 18 violated the league’s anti-tampering rules, said Joel Litvin, NBA president of League and Basketball Operations. Steve Kerr, president of Basketball Operations for the Phoenix Suns, was fined $10,000 after he addressed James’s free agency on a radio show May 14.
Cuban was asked during his appearance on CNNMoney.com if he was interested in acquiring James.
“Come July 1st, yeah, anybody would be interested in LeBron James,” Cuban said. “If he leaves via free agency, it’s going to be tough. If he does like I’m guessing, I’m hoping that he will, which is to say ‘I’m not going to leave the Cavs high and dry’ -- if he decides to leave -- there’s still a better chance he’s going to stay -- then he’ll force a sign-and-trade and that gives us a chance.”
Cuban acknowledged the fine on his Twitter Web site.
“For those of you who care about these things,” Cuban wrote. “NBA just fined me 100k for comments regarding another teams’ players.”
Kerr was being interviewed on Sports Illustrated’s radio broadcast, The Dan Patrick Show, when he was asked where the Sun stood among those who wanted James.
“If he’ll take mid-level, we’ll give it to him,” Kerr said, laughing. “Five and a half million. I think he’ll take it, don’t you? I want him to stay in Cleveland. I think it’s good for the league when stars stay with their own team. It’s good business when teams can keep their core together and fans can get connected to those players.”