After last week’s labor meetings blew up (again), fans sought out owners on Twitter and let them have it. One of those owners is Micky Arison, who clearly doesn’t want to be lumped in with guys who may be stalling the whole process.
But apparently defending oneself and setting the record straight is verboten during David Stern’s iron-fisted rule, because Stern laid down the law.
The NBA fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison $500,000 on Monday for recent comments he made on Twitter that violated the league’s censure on speaking publicly about the lockout, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The fine is one of the largest for an individual in NBA history.
NBA commissioner David Stern came down hard for what was a clear undermining of the league’s selling point that the owners are united on demanding sweeping and unprecedented financial givebacks from the Players Association. While the union has long believed there are severe splits between big- and small-market owners, this was the first public sentiment from such a high-ranking NBA official confirming it.
Fining Arison $500,000 hurts, but he can swing it. He’s worth $4.2 billion (according to Forbes). It’s like a big speeding ticket to you or me. It sucks, but we can pay it and we’ll probably drive 65 for a little while.
Yes, Stern has a very strict policy about staying quiet about talks. Yes, Arison knew he did something wrong because he deleted the tweets. And yes, we ALL knew he’d get a fine. But that doesn’t make this any less ridiculous. Half a million dollars for telling people “you’re barking at the wrong owner”? Give me a break.
The reason why Stern has threatened such harsh fines during this lockout is because he so desperately wants to control every syllable of narrative. And someone that desperate to make sure the message is spun his way and only his way is someone who is hiding something. Arison’s “barking” tweet pulled the curtain back on things every so slightly, revealing that some owners aren’t happy with the proceedings.
To Stern, that’s a big deal. He wants to pretend there’s nothing wrong and that owners are some unified front while cutting down the other side every chance he gets. At this point, Stern might as well completely morph into Karl Rove and just get it over with. The facts lie elsewhere, but anyone who dares point us any closer to them must be dealt with harshly.