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.