David Stern spins Micky Arison fine, talks lockout

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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.