Tag: tampering

Image (1) lebron_decision-thumb-250x191-15508.jpg for post 6206

LeBron, Heat players respond to Gilbert’s tampering charge


Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert has allegedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Midwestern law firm to put together a tampering case with evidence against the Miami Heat and how they lured LeBron James from Cleveland to South Beach.

What does LeBron think about that? Not much, he told FanHouse on the eve of returning to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers for the first time Thursday night.

“I’m here,” James said. “I’m a Miami Heat player representing this franchise, so that’s out of my league. I don’t have anything to do with that. We followed the process like any other free agent, and this organization did also.”

Former Cavalier Zydrunas Ilgauskas had a much better perspective on it:

“That’s chasing ghosts right there,” he told FanHouse while shaking his head. “Let bygones be bygones. There are more important things in life: people dying from cancer every day, kids dying every day, people having HIV, people fighting wars. There are more important things than the Miami Heat going back to Cleveland.

“Let’s put life in perspective, it’s just a basketball game.”

Report: Cavaliers hire team of attorneys to build LeBron tampering case against Heat

New Jersey Nets v Miami Heat

So Dan Gilbert is over LeBron leaving? Riiiiiight.

The Cleveland Cavaliers owner has spent several hundred thousand dollars to pay a team of attorneys to build a tampering case against the Heat that he can then present to the NBA, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

The NBA won’t launch an investigation into a tampering case without a formal request from a team, but sources say Gilbert’s plan is to give commissioner David Stern a detailed case that includes meetings, phone calls and contingency plans that date as far back as 2008. Gilbert will implore Stern to use his powers as commissioner to get access to phone records and testimony of key people surrounding Heat president Pat Riley, James and others potentially involved.

Gilbert officially declined comment on the report.

The release of this story the day before James returns to Cleveland by Wojnarowski — who has been hard on LeBron James, to put it mildly — makes the cynic in us come to the fore. There may well be some truth here, but take this with a few grains of salt is what we are saying. The timing of this certainly should play well in Cleveland… but certainly that is just a coincidence.

Tampering would be very hard to prove. No Heat player or representative — that includes Dwyane Wade — could talk to LeBron James or his representatives about the specifics of him and Chris Bosh coming to Miami prior to July 1. However, that is very different than the three of them saying, “we should all play together” at the Olympics.

The report is that the attorneys are targeting “an alleged Riley-James meeting in Miami in November 2009, and a meeting of James’ inner circle with Wade in Chicago in June 2010, sources said.” So, an alleged meeting well before the Heat knew exactly how much cap space they would have available, and Wade meeting with James’ team — who met with a whole lot of people — are what we are focusing on here? There may be some smoke, but proving a fire is a very different thing.

If tampering were proven, the penalties could be severe, including losses of draft picks and suspensions for front office personnel.

There is a river of back-channel communications in the NBA. A Mississippi of such talk. To pull out parts of these things and prove tampering is a tall order.

But if you’re Gilbert, it’s something that plays well with the home fan base on the eve of James’ return.

Knicks deny tampering in Carmelo Anthony trade talks


Thumbnail image for donnie_walsh.jpgA four-team trade deal that would have moved Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets fell apart, apparently for a few reasons. One of them was the Nuggets trying to add players to the deal to shed payroll and get below the luxury tax threshold.

But rumors surfaced that the Nuggets thought the Knicks might have tampered with the talks, encouraging Anthony through back channels not to sign any extension so he can sign with New York as a free agent next summer (right after the lockout).

Tuesday the Knicks Donnie Walsh denied that. Marc Berman of the New York Post had the quotes.

“We weren’t [tampering],’ ” Walsh said. “Pretty quickly, we didn’t think they saw a trade with us. We haven’t been that involved in it since. I’ve never heard that before.

“We didn’t do it,” Walsh added. “This is the first I’ve heard of it and I’ve talked to their general manager a couple of times.”

The Knicks leave for games in Europe and Anthony will not be with them. Well, Carmelo Anthony — but Anthony Randolph will. And he may be as big a key to their future.