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Report: NBA warned stars against participating in clinics in the Philippines

Jul 22, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

Adam Silver Adam Silver

It’s common for the NBA’s biggest stars to spend part of the offseason on promotional tours overseas, which are usually tied to contracts as shoe company endorsers.

But there are apparently rules in place as to exactly what types of basketball activities players can undertake while on these trips, and some that were scheduled to take place in Manila didn’t meet the league’s guidelines.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The National Basketball Association warned a touring group of its stars that they could face financial fines for participating in clinics in Manila, Philippines, that include short scrimmages and games of “H-O-R-S-E,” league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Several NBA stars, including Blake Griffin, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Liillard, were scheduled to participate in promotional appearances in Manila this week, and the NBA has told its Players Association that the event organizers failed to gain league approval, sources said. …

The NBA warned against violations that included “some kind of exhibition of basketball skills,” including shooting games and dunk contests, an NBPA memo obtained by Yahoo Sports said.

In the memo, the Players Association informed player agents and players that the NBA “has taken the position that any such exhibition or competition is unallowable and is not approved for player participation under the [Collective Bargaining Agreement], regardless of whether it is incorporated into a ‘clinic’ or other ‘benign-sounding activity.’

The group of players who are in Manila also includes Kyle Lowry, Terrence Ross, DeMar Derozan, Tyson Chandler and Brandon Jennings.

It appears as though some of these players were set to take on the Philippines national team in some sort of exhibition, but the league, clearly protecting its investment, has decided to pull the plug.

If you’re wondering why so many NBA stars would agree to do something the league might frown upon, as always, money is the answer. Wojnarowski reports that some players were set to receive $150,000 to participate in the two-day event.

Some may see this as the NBA being overly-cautious, but I’m sure Shannon Brown wishes there were some stricter policies in place last summer before he experienced this minor bit of humiliation that could have resulted in a fairly serious injury.

  1. zackd2 - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    NBA overly-cautious? Lol they’re just mad that the league isn’t making a profit off of it.

    • csbanter - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      I agree .

  2. cramsinned - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Maybe this was the reason why Blake Griffin and Paul George were unable to attend the event. The slam dunk contest and three point shoot-out was cancelled and instead they just did some practice scrimmage. Fans booed and the event organizer issued refunds because of the turn of events.

  3. djshnooks - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    It’s basketball, not hockey or football.

    How players get injured…when you can’t even look at the guy the wrong way without being called for a foul…blows my mind.

  4. themars211 - Jul 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Some of those guy’s are on NBA all flop team ( Harden, griffin). Maybe it was a flopping clinic.

  5. antistratfordian - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Ah cmon NBA! Lame.

  6. mackcarrington - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    As long as they stay off of Malaysian Airlines.

    • bong815 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      And don’t fly over or near Ukraine.

  7. tv63 - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    It’s the off season and NOT in America. Hands off!! Leave them alone,. Here I actually thought for a moment NBA cared about their safety or something. Nope Just their own pocketbook!

  8. im10acious - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Wait, they can’t exhibit basketball skills yet they can participate in other sporting events such as:
    Noah participating in Steve Nash’s charity soccer game
    Kobe hitting home runs in Richard Sherman’s charity baseball game in Seattle
    Drummond bowling (yikes) for whatever reason
    Players participating in pick up basketball tournaments, like those held in LA and NY Rucker Park

    Why are these any different than the Manila exhibition?

    • duhwighthoward - Jul 22, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Adam Silver, the real racist.

  9. cpcheung - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    They can all exhibit their skills in ping pong games.

  10. undagroundnbablogspot - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    I’ve heard on a couple of occasions that these guys pretty much sign their lives (or at least their names) away under NBA contracts, but not being able to play basketball when you want to over the offseason sounds a bit ridiculous and paternalistic.

    • bong815 - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      Maybe so, but it’s in all of their contracts. I suspect the reason it is there is to protect them from injury. The NBA certainly is not the only pro league that has this type of rule.

  11. campcouch - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    They said no because the Philippines is more corrupt than any NBA stooge. Trust me, EVERYONE there requires a “tip” to complete any transaction. They probably wanted the NBA to pay a fee to use the letters NBA there.

  12. philtration - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    When sailors participated in the Philippines they ended up going to the clinic after.

  13. rogerrodgers - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    Clinics eh? Is that what they called those places know, the clinic to release your stress.

  14. cueghost - Jul 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Adam Silver is a tool… He made a big splash in how he handled the Sterling deal, so everyone who isn’t paying attention thinks he is SO great, but get used to seeing a lot more stories like this…

  15. awesomearchangel - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:12 AM

    The NBA is quick to pull out of the philipines, but taking their time voting out Donald Sterling. I love the nba, wnba, and nbdl…but I will not go to a game, or watch a game on tv, until Donald Sterling is removed from the league, because until that time all owners of NBA teams are complicit in his racism and disgraceful words towards the fans at staples center, his wife, and at least one woman who he had an extramarital affair with.

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