Mark Cuban has been fined $25,000 for comments made about free agent center DeAndre Jordan and guard Wesley Matthews, according to the Dallas Morning News' Eddie Sefko. The fine stems from comments made during a recent radio interview in which Cuban discusses the process of reaching an agreement for the two to join the Dallas Mavericks among other subjects.
Technically, the league moratorium on signing free agents is still in effect until July 8th. Until that time, league officials, like Cuban, are not supposed to publicly speak about free agents.If they do, it's considered tampering.
This isn't the first time that Cuban has been fined for tampering. He was fined in the summer of 2010 for comments he made about LeBron James, who wound up up signing with the Miami Heat.
While it's understandable that the NBA wants to discourage tampering, perhaps it needs to tweak its current rules. In the digital age, it's becoming more and more difficult to limit communication, be it between team officials and player or team officials and the media. It is common knowledge that the Mavericks already have verbal agreements with both Jordan and Matthews. Even the length of their contracts and monetary value is widely known. (Matthews' money has yet to be made public.) Only a dramatic change of mind will stop them from signing with the team.
If the NBA really wants to curb tampering, it's time that it looks at itself and its rules. Slapping billionaires on the wrist clearly isn't effective.