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Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

Posted on: December 1, 2010 9:04 pm
 
The coup that sent the free-agent dominoes tumbling toward Miami this past July could be under scrutiny by the NBA office if Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert gets what he’s seeking – evidence that Pat Riley’s greatest accomplishment was a violation of league tampering rules.

Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that Gilbert has hired a law firm to investigate whether the Heat’s signing of free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh this past summer was tampering. While Cavaliers officials have privately stewed for months that James’ departure for Miami didn’t pass the tampering test, they have publicly maintained that they’ve moved on. This is the first evidence that Gilbert, who lashed out at James in an infamous screed after “The Decision” was announced on July 8, has not let it go.

“They’re not going to let this die,” a source told Yahoo! Sports, which reported that Gilbert already has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the probe in his quest to provide “a thick binder of findings” to commissioner David Stern.

The NBA does not investigate tampering allegations without an official charge filed by a team, and such cases are exceedingly difficult to prove. On several occasions, Stern has publicly defended players’ right to speak amongst themselves about on- and off-court issues, but after the Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas in July, the commissioner said he would look into tampering charges if any were brought.

Gilbert’s plan now appears to be to bring them, with the issue coming to a head on the eve of James' first game in Cleveland as a member of the Heat.

It is widely known that James, Wade and Bosh began plotting their futures as early as 2006, when all three signed short extensions that gave them the ability to opt out and become free agents in 2010. Their bond was solidified when they teamed up to win the gold medal at the Beijng Olympics in 2008, and any negotiating barriers for their services were eliminated once Creative Artists Agency bought the agencies that represented the three players.

None of that would be against NBA rules, which prohibit team officials from recruiting players under contract with other teams but put no such restrictions on players. But published reports previously have detailed a November 2009 meeting involving Riley, James and Michael Jordan during a Cavs trip to play the Heat. The Cavs did not make an issue of the meeting, sources say, because they did not want to come across as overly sensitive about James’ potential departure – and also because key organizational figures never believed he would leave.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer , Wade and Bosh flew to Akron to meet with James at his home in late June. That meeting, and another one that same month in Chicago allegedly involving Wade and members of James’ inner circle, also will come under scrutiny in the Cavs’ probe. All three players were still under contract with their teams until midnight on July 1.

The nature of those meetings, however, only underscores how difficult it will be to prove wrongdoing. The alleged Akron meeting among players would seem to fall under Stern’s edict not to investigate players for speaking with one another about their future plans. The meeting in Chicago, where the agent for Wade and Bosh, Henry Thomas, is based, would be difficult to characterize as anything more than a business meeting among clients and their shared representative. Even if James’ associates – or James himself – were involved, James is represented by the same agency (though by a different agent, Leon Rose.)

Speculation and sour grapes, however, could be transformed into tampering evidence if Gilbert’s lawyers are able to unearth any evidence that members of the Heat organization were involved in any capacity in these or other meetings and conversations. In non-sports businesses, where tampering is known as “tortious interference,” such proof is obtained through phone records (including email and text messages) and by subpoenaing witnesses to testify under oath. But a person familiar with the NBA’s past pursuit of tampering charges – such as those between the Knicks and Heat over Riley himself in the 1990s – said it’s unlikely that league officials would have the same authority as the civil courts to carry out such practices.

The NBA declined to comment through a league spokesman because no tampering charges have been furnished to the league office.

Just as the Cavs passed on the opportunity to file a complaint with the league office over the alleged meeting with Riley in November 2009, the team also did not take legal action after James announced his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami. At the time, sports law experts told CBSSports.com that the Cavs could have asked a federal judge for an injunction to stop James from negotiating with the Heat. They probably wouldn’t have been able to stop him from going, but by bringing the case to a court of law, they would’ve had subpoenas at their disposal as a tool to prove their case.

This effort may be too little, too late.
Comments

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 3, 2010 1:49 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

Dude you got problems if you wish injury on someone just because they don't want to work for you. This is not the era of slavery. His contract was up and he left. Jay-Z tampered by trying to get LBJ to leave and play for the Nets. Dwayne Wade spoke on behalf of the Heat. The Yankees courted LBJ for the Knicks. The fact is, Lebron was going to leave either way. Tonight just shows how he feels about Cleveland. He did not let up on them at all. He showed exactly why he left, because without LBJ, they are nothing but a squad of bench players in an organization that doesn't do anything to improve. They should have taken a look at Michael Jordans career. Mike would not have won without the Bulls bringing in Pippen, Rodman, Kerr, Harper, and all those other guys. The Cavs = FAILURE.



Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 11:35 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

yeah like clarke and the flyers never tampered



Since: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 11:26 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

This is sooooo petty.  However, since it's Lebron, and he is hated, I support it.  Anything to irk the queen is ok in my book.  He's earned it.



Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 10:48 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

comin after the rocknroll hof next   BE AFRAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 10:17 am
 

"Dung Boy" James & Chris BUSH were tampered with

"Dung Boy" James knew he was leaving the Cavs well in advance of his announcement.  That is why he threw the playoffs, coming up with the injured arm ruse just prior to the playoffs.  He did not want to win a championship, as it would have made it tougher to explain leaving.  You don't win a championship and then leave your fans and teammates holding the bag.  By throwing the division championship round, he then used having a legitimate chance of winning a ring as his excuse.  He cheated the Cavs, their fans and the organization out of what may be their best chance for decades at winning it all.

I not only hope that Dan Gilbert proves the tampering charges, but I also hope to see "Dung Boy" throw his powder in the air in Cleveland, then come flying down the court on a fast break, preparing for a highlight reel dunk, and slip on that very same powder, suffering a career ending injury.  How good would that be for Karmic justice?  There is so much bad Karma hovering over "Dung Boy" James and Chris BUSH, that South Beach is liable to mistake it for smog!



Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 10:00 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

seriously -did anyone think this was gonna go away?  the guy is a self made BILLIONAIRE - fanatic - workaholic - micromanager - whatever you wanna call it.

he also watches EVERY PENNY he spends.  if you know or have read anything about the guy, you would know that he does nothing half-assed and he does nothing without being certain he will win.




Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 3:20 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

It is real simple, if the Heat worked James before his contract expired then that is tampering plain and simple. I don't know what the ramifications would be and knowing the NBA the way I do it probably won't be much. The whole situation screamed collusion. Too bad LeBron didn't have the class to let management know he wasn't coming back.
 Remember the day he won the MVP? The team was there and they were all stoked, seriously stoked and it had all the earmarks of a team juiced to go out and take on the world. Instead the team came out in a funk totally wrong attitude for a team celebrating just hours earlier. Now we all know they did not go out and get stoned or drunk prior to the game so what happened? I am willing to bet James told the players he wasn't coming back! So instead of taking fire the team just quit knowing their leader their personal hero was just going to dump them.
 Go back and look at my posts and you will see where I said that wherever LeBron goes Ilgauskas goes when he came back to the Cavs after the Jamison deal. Now tell me that what happened does not stink to high heaven of collusion. Collusion in the business world is a criminal offense collusion in the NBA is? Well I don't know, but if it is true and the Heat, LeBron, Wade and Chris Bosh manipulated the whole thing I personally think the Heat should be "DISBANDED" and the players involved banned from the NBA for "LIFE"! I say this because it is like gambling or buying stock knowing what the result is going to be "BEFORE" it happens. Insider trading puts people in jail and maybe that is what needs to happen here so that something like this does not happen again. Just my humble opinion. Have a great day folks.



Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 3:16 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

It is real simple, if the Heat worked James before his contract expired then that is tampering plain and simple. I don't know what the ramifications would be and knowing the NBA the way I do it probably won't be much. The whole situation screamed collusion. Too bad LeBron didn't have the class to let management know he wasn't coming back.
 Remember the day he won the MVP? The team was there and they were all stoked, seriously stoked and it had all the earmarks of a team juiced to go out and take on the world. Instead the team came out in a funk totally wrong attitude for a team celebrating just hours earlier. Now we all know they did not go out and get stoned or drunk prior to the game so what happened? I am willing to bet James told the players he wasn't coming back! So instead of taking fire the team just quit knowing their leader their personal hero was just going to dump them.
 Go back and look at my posts and you will see where I said that wherever LeBron goes Ilgauskas goes when he came back to the Cavs after the Jamison deal. Now tell me that what happened does not stink to high heaven of collusion. Collusion in the business world is a criminal offense collusion in the NBA is? Well I don't know, but if it is true and the Heat, LeBron, Wade and Chris Bosh manipulated the whole thing I personally think the Heat should be "DISBANDED" and the players involved banned from the NBA for "LIFE"! I say this because it is like gambling or buying stock knowing what the result is going to be "BEFORE" it happens. Insider trading puts people in jail and maybe that is what needs to happen here so that something like this does not happen again. Just my humble opinion. Have a great day folks.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2010 2:20 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

It amazes me that the NBA calls it tampering if an owner, coach, GM or even ballboy talks to a player under contract about switching teams, but players can recruit other players and somehow that's OK. Does anyone think the smart owners with good relationships with players aren't just having the players do the tampering for them?



Since: Nov 23, 2010
Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:15 am
 

Cavs' tampering case may be too little, too late

doesn't matter  Gilbert has already won . in the Public  arena with the sport's fans in this country!!!!!!!!!!


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