December 2018 Basketball Wiretap

Small Market GMs Upset NBA Doesn't Apply Tampering Rules To Players

Dec 21, 2018 12:46 PM

Several small market general managers have privately expressed outrage over what they believe is the NBA's unwillingness to enforce tampering rules following comments of LeBron James publicly endorsing the pursuit of Anthony Davis.

Several GMs reached out to Dell Demps of the Pelicans to express dismay over James' comments.

"It's New Orleans' problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us," one Eastern Conference GM told ESPN. "It's open season on small markets and our players."

The NBA bylaws governing players state: "Any Player who, directly or indirectly, entices, induces, persuades or attempts to entice, induce or persuade any Player, Coach, Trainer, General Manager, or any other person who is under contract to any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services shall, on being charged with such tampering, should be given an opportunity to answer to such charges after due notice and the Commissioner shall have the power to decide whether or not the charges have been sustained ..."

Demps declined to comment to ESPN on the impact of James' public endorsement of a Davis deal. 

League executives believe the NBA needs to start holding players responsible for public comments the way they do owners and management.

"If these are the rules, enforce them," one Western Conference GM told ESPN. "If you want to push Anthony Davis in L.A., if you allow LeBron to interfere with teams, then just do it. Change the rules, and say, 'It's the wild, wild west and anything goes.'

"But give us a list of the rules that you're enforcing, and give us a list of the rules that you're going to ignore."

An NBA spokesman told ESPN on Friday: "Each case is assessed on its own facts. In general, absent evidence of team coordination or other aggravating factors, it is not tampering when a player makes a comment about his interest in playing with another team's player."

Some believe the NBA is predisposed for craving the drama and storylines of free agency and trades.

"There is no confidence among most of us -- if not all of us -- that the league cares about protecting our interests," one small-market GM told ESPN. "It's hard enough already to hold onto the kind of players we need to try and win with -- but [the league] doesn't do anything to help."

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA CBA

James Dolan Won't Rule Out Selling Knicks

Dec 17, 2018 9:24 AM

James Dolan revealed that he couldn't rule out selling the New York Knicks if he received the right offer.

Dolan said there have been "feelers" of offers upward of $5 billion for the Knicks, but that "no one has come through with a bona fide offer."

"You hear numbers all the time," Dolan told ESPN when asked about selling the team. "... I think people have sent feelers out, but never any that were pursued. Yeah, [the feelers are] around that number [$5 billion], but those things, it's like a stock price. It's only important if you're going to buy or sell."

Doland took over as chairman of Madison Square Garden in 1999.

Dolan said he loves the Knicks and Rangers, "but you still have a responsibility to your shareholders."

"You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that's being open and transparent. And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn't consider selling the Knicks. Now, my family is not in that position, and they are the majority shareholders. They hold the majority of the vote. ... As a majority owner, I don't want to sell, either. As the head of the public company, you can't say you can't sell, because then you're telling your shareholders that your own personal feelings about your assets are more important than their money. And they won't invest with you if you do that."

Ian O'Connor/ESPN

Tags: New York Knicks, NBA, NBA CBA

NBA Announces Partnership With Online Sportsbook

Dec 11, 2018 2:39 PM

The NBA and The Stars Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TSG; TSX: TSGI) announced a new multiyear partnership that will make The Stars Group an authorized gaming operator of the NBA in the U.S. The partnership is The Stars Group’s first with a professional sports league in the U.S. 

As part of the partnership, The Stars Group will have the right to use official NBA betting data and league marks across The Stars Group’s digital sports betting offerings.   

The Stars Group is a global leader in the online and mobile gaming and interactive entertainment industries, entertaining millions of customers across its online poker, gaming and betting offerings.  The Stars Group is currently operating in New Jersey with its BetStars brand, with plans to expand its business nationwide as additional states legalize online sports betting.  Over the past year, The Stars Group expanded its global business with the purchase of UK-based Sky Betting & Gaming and Australia-based BetEasy. 

“The Stars Group is an accomplished global online gaming leader and we are excited to work with them on their first U.S. sports league partnership,” said Scott Kaufman-Ross, Head of Fantasy & Gaming, NBA.  “This dynamic partnership will be another way to create authentic fan engagement with league logos and official NBA betting data, while leveraging Stars’ global expertise to further optimize the fan experience.”

RealGM Staff Report


NBA Owners Not Expected To Consider Expansion Until At Least 2025

Dec 5, 2018 9:11 AM

NBA owners are not currently considering expansion and are not expected to begin to in the near future, according to multiple sources.

Expansion could be considered again as part of the next television package discussions in 2025.

The NHL awarded Seattle an expansion team on Tuesday.

An NBA team could conceivably attempt to relocate to Seattle before then with the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans considered most likely.

Kurt Helin/NBC Sports