I understand the need to protect your assets, but something about this report doesn’t sit well with me.
According to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the league has threatened to impose hefty fines to a group of notable NBA players who were scheduled to take place in non-sanctioned events in Manila this upcoming week. Apparently, organizers failed to clear the events with league offices resulting in the banning of player participation.
Several NBA stars, including James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard, 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.
There were scheduled to be two days of exhibition events on Tuesday and Wednesday in Manila, but news reports out of Manila suggest that those events were canceled and ticket refunds were given to fans.
The NBA warned against violations that included “some kind of exhibition of basketball skills,” including shooting games and dunk contests, an NBPA memo 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.’”
As I wrote previously, I do understand the need to protect the players from any precarious situations that may arise in other parts of the world. However, with the players reportedly cutting their own side deals with the Manila organizers; it seems the league is more concerned with not receiving a cut rather than the safety of the participants. Sources say the players stood to make $150,000+ over the two days of the event.
If the collective bargaining agreement specifically outlines this activity as unlawful than it is what it is. But if the league is trying to come between the players and their ability to showcase their talents to the world for profit, don’t be surprised to hear some backlash from any one of the players involved.