Friday, January 9, 2009

Sign and we'll sue

Pretend for a second that you own an NBA team. Now pretend you're lacking depth at the small forward position. One final hypothetical: you see a healthy, serviceable Darius Miles on the waiver wire and sign him as a body down the home stretch of the season.

Now imagine a massive lawsuit filed against you on behalf of the Portland Trailblazers.

If - by chance - you do own an NBA team, there's nothing to imagine. If you sign Darius Miles, you're getting sued. Long story short: if Miles plays two more games this season, 18 million dollars will count against the Trailblazers' salary cap, forcing them to pay the league's luxury tax.

The memo sent to all 29 NBA teams from the Trailblazers upon Miles' clearance of waivers read as follows:

The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions. Such conduct from a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers' contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.

Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.

I doubt that'd even hold up in court, but signing Miles would be a heck of a practical joke to play on the Blazers.

If I owned, say, the Clippers, and had a couple hundred grand burning a hole in my pocket, I'd definitely do it.

If only I owned an NBA team...

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