Micky Arison was supposed to be one of he doves. He took a $500,000 fine for tweeting he was not one of the hardline owners.
He was one of the owners who wanted to make a deal and get back to basketball. Or so we thought. Then comes this note:
Heat owner Micky Arison is revealing that he cast a ballot against passing the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement.
Arison says it was “a protest vote” primarily in response to the way revenue-sharing components of the deal will be structured….
Arison declined to say if he would have cast the “no” vote if the CBA wasn’t already assured of passage. Enough votes to pass were already secured by the time Miami made its selection.
So Arison and Mavs owner Mark Cuban are two of the 5 no votes. Big market owners whose teams played in the finals. Interesting.
Sometimes, you really wonder about the people who advise LeBron James. And Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, in this case.
Let’s take a step back. Remember how earlier today we passed along information about the Heat’s Mike Miller selling his Miami area home, and how that is a sign he (and everyone else) thinks the amnesty clause will be used on him once the lockout ends? Well, Brian Windhorst tells the same story over at ESPN.
But he adds this fascinating detail.
Heat owner Micky Arison is worth more than $4 billion and his sitting on a massive lump of money from thousands of season ticket holders who’ve paid in full. Not to mention he didn’t have to pay LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh their July balloon payments. James, sources said, was owed a $12 million check in July as part of his contract that allowed him to get 80 percent of his annual salary up front. That cash is still sitting in the Heat’s coffers. Yet the Heat’s employees are all swallowing 25 percent paycuts right now because of the lockout. We infer from this exactly what Arison has proven for years: he’s a businessman not just a billionaire.
Everyone — even the most optimistic people in the league — knew there was going to be a lockout and it was going to last through the summer. (The optimists thought no games would be lost.)
So how did anyone approve a July 1 balloon payment that wouldn’t be made for months, at best? The league had been telling players to space out their payments from last season (if your contract had the team paying you for last season into the summer, that was fine, it is payment for services delivered). But the big three went with the big balloon payments.
How u, Miami?
David Stern — at the urging of other owners — fined Heat owner Micky Arison a whopping $500,000 (reportedly) for breaking the veneer of a unified ownership front. Arison tweeted that he’s not the owner you should be blaming for the lockout.
And now, here comes he spin, from David Stern, who spoke with Howard Beck of the New York Times.
“He believes his tweets were taken out of context and understands our concern about them,” Stern said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “And he’s very much on board with the other 29 owners about the deal that we want.”
If fans and commentators view Arison’s words as a declaration of self-interest, an attempt to distance himself from the more hawkish factions, Stern said he understood it. Arison himself conceded “that it might have had that impression,” Stern said, “but he didn’t intend it to.”
Right. I’m sure Arison doesn’t “intend” to only put beautiful young people in his ads for Carnival Cruise Lines, it just sometimes leaves that impression.
Both the owners and the players are showing cracks in solidarity. Neither is totally unified. Both are straining under the pressure of lost games. Not enough to sit down and actually talk to one another, but there is a strain.
Also in the interview, Stern said he has had no side deals or conversations with Derek Fisher.
Finally, he said the divide among owners was whether to leave their last 50/50 BBRI split on the table or to pull it back and reduce it. That’s the offer that the players rejected, and the statement is vintage Stern spin.
Heat owner Micky Arison is going to be writing a big check to the NBA — $500,000 to be exact. And he can thank some of his fellow NBA owners for that.
On Halloween Arison got a trick from the league when David Stern smacked him with a heavy fine for a little twitter rant on Friday. The most offensive of those tweets, from the NBA’s perspective, was when one fan asked him what it felt to be one of the greedy pigs ruining the NBA:
“Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner.”
That apparently set off other owners, according to Brian Windhorst at ESPN.
According to multiple league sources, commissioner David Stern was lobbied by some of Arison’s fellow owners to levy the stiff fine. Arison and several of his peers have been at growing odds as the lockout has deepened — a rift which spilled over into cyberspace last week.
The owners are not a unified front right now. There are some that think they’ve gotten enough and its time to get back to basketball. The players are not a unified front either, there are some who think that they make a good living even with a 50/50 BRI and they should get back to work.
But right now those are not the people driving the bus. The hardliners are still in that seat. So here we are on the day the NBA was to open its season without basketball talking instead about fines on owners. Ain’t that swell.
You knew the second you read the tweets from Heat owner Micky Arison Friday that was he going to be forking over a healthy check to the league soon.
Those tweets included his response to one fan who accused Arison of being one of the greedy owners ruining the NBA.
“Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner.”
The price tag for that and his mini twitter rant: $500,000, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. That was the fine from David Stern.
Want to know how you keep Mark Cuban and Dan Gilbert and other owners willing to speak their mind in line? That’s now. Since day one of the lockout Stern has been walking around threatening a $1 million fine for owners who broke ranks and talked, now he has used that hammer a little and it will have the desired effect.
It might have been a $1 million fine, but Arison insulted Clippers owner Donald Sterling, too, and that brought a smile to Stern’s face.
It’s all worth it to Stern for this reason — he can’t afford to have anything that does not look like a unified front. Keep the players thinking the owners will not back down and you get more, if the cracks show the players will stay more solid.
And while everyone worries about looking unified, the NBA season slips away day by day.