Jun 10, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
The Hawks emailed fans in an attempt to sell tickets by name dropping Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. I don’t know whether the chance of Atlanta signing either star in free agency motivated any fans to buy tickets, but the email will cost the Hawks.
Three NBA teams have been fined for tampering, according to an internal league memo obtained by USA TODAY Sports.
A person familiar with the fine said that one of the teams is the Atlanta Hawks. The person spoke on on the condition of anonymity because the fines haven’t been made public.
The Atlanta Hawks sent a statement to USA TODAY Sports saying: “We fully understand and respect the NBA’s decision.”
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Want a guess at the unknown team? Kings coach Michael Malone said Paul would “look pretty good in a Sacramento Kings uniform.”
But I could probably find examples of every team tampering, and therein lies the problem. The NBA’s tampering rules are so broad, it could be argue coaches violate them every time they talk about an opposing player during a post-game press conference. This gives the NBA leeway to fine and pardon teams as it pleases, and such a lack of consistency allows the league too large of an opportunity to play favorites.
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