The possibility that the NBA’s dumb new tampering rules would be enforced in the dumbest possible fashion has quickly come to fruition. Per a league press release today, the Milwaukee Bucks have been fined $50,000 for “violating league rules governing the timing of discussions regarding future player contracts and permissible commitments to players.”
The offending incident happened at a Bucks town hall event earlier this month, when GM Jon Horst was asked about the long-term situation with franchise cornerstone Giannis Antetokounmpo. Horst picked his words carefully, but not carefully enough:
So, you know, Giannis is—first of all, the answer for it right now is we can’t talk or negotiate anything. So Giannis, basically a year from now, will be eligible for a supermax extension. At that time, of course, he’ll be offered a supermax extension.
For the egregious crime of observing that the league’s Most Valuable Player would in fact be offered the largest contract extension his current employer could possibly offer, the Bucks were punished. Antetokounmpo, who probably passes several billboards of his face on his way to work, must have been shocked by Horst’s revelation. Every opposing front office must have been scandalized. It looks like the NBA can be trusted to crack down on the important stuff. Nothing could be more crucial for a fair and open marketplace than slapping the wrist of any GM who dared to observe that the sky is blue. No talking about the color of the sky until next summer.