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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 20:31

NBA: Let's make punishments that matter

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Enough with the meaningless and worthless fines, if the NBA wants to prove a point they need to stiffen their rules

Want to hear a joke? A man who makes something like twelve million dollars a year got fined $ 25,000 for breaking a rule. Sadly, this is not a joke; it’s a reality, as Phil Jackson was fined for comments about Thunder guard and potential coaching candidate Derek Fisher. The real joke is that Jackson probably had to re-write the check two or three times as he was laughing at this type of fine.

"The last two summers, Derek and I have talked about the next step in his career," Jackson said, according to Newsday. "So I kind of know what he wants to do, and his feelings. He's got family in L.A. He's got little kids still in L.A. I have no idea if he wants to move his family and come here. Those are things that he would have to express. There are so many unknowns."

While most fans could care less about a fine cause you aren’t allowed to speak about other teams’ players, for someone like me, who always tries to find the hidden gems in stories, and that is why I do my podcast … “Pushing the Envelope” (every Sunday 10 to 11 am EST on CLNSRadio). And to me this is something that the National Basketball Association should do something about, but not for the rule, but for the price tag they have on it.

My philosophy here is pretty simple: hit them where it hurts. Twenty five thousand dollars hurts no one in this story, and in the end the New York Knicks could still get Fisher as their head coach anyway. So, in the end, what has the NBA accomplished? Nothing!

Here are my thoughts on how to stop things like this… First off if you tamper like the New York Knick president did your team shouldn’t be allowed to pursue that individual, be it a coach, a front office personnel or a player any longer.

Second, the team will forfeit the following year second round pick. If the franchise does not have a second rounder in the following season, they will forfeit the one the year after. If the franchise was to be a repeat offender within five years they would lose their first round pick, instead of the second round.

Lastly, the first time this happened to a franchise they will forfeit playing five home games the following year. I would do it for the following year since the season ticket holder would have to have a different payment since they would have five less games to pay for. If the team was to have another infraction of the sort within five years the penalty would be ten games.

Enough with meaningless punishments that are laughable at best and stupid at worst, time to employ standards that will truly crack down on things. Losing the person you are going after, losing draft picks and losing home games hits a lot closer than a $ 25,000 fine. Commission Adam Silver, with his actions against Mr. Sterling, has shown he will stand up to anyone. He needs to show that now in things like this.

Will the NBA, or any other professional sports league, ever go towards these type of punishments or will they still keep the meaningless slaps on the wrists? Time will tell, but I would venture to say that not much will be done about it, since in the end it seems a lot more about “proving that they are overseeing things” than proving they are going to stop them. And if that is the case it’s a true shame!

Alex Mazzolini

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CLNS Radio's featured NCAA Football & Basketball columnist.

 

Host of "The ABC's of the ACC" and "Pushing the Envelope" podcasts.

 

Following college sports for over a third of a century, covering not just the games, but also the recruiting, of the super conferences.

 

When it comes to college athletics I love the present day as social media gives us so much information. However, I long for the old days when college sport was more about the programs the young men played at and less about where they would end up at the next level.