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Morning Commute: Behind Ted Leonsis' $100,000 Fine

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Ted Leonsis was fined $100,000 yesterday for saying the NBA owners were looking to implement a hard salary cap, like the one that is in place in the NHL. For the NBA's newest owner, it's not exactly the best way to break into the fraternity. Here's the incredibly intimidating response from Commissioner David Stern, via Michael Lee.

"We're negotiating and that was one of our negotiating points," he told the AP, "but collective bargaining is a negotiating process, and that was not something that Ted was authorized to say and he will be dealt with for that lapse in judgment."

Woah. That sounds less like a fine, and more like Stern is planning on strapping Leonsis backwards onto a donkey, and ostracizing him from the NBA community.

The reaction to the comments being made, has taken some attention away from what they mean. A hard cap would mean that team's salary would be unable to exceed the cap set in place, which is not enforced under the current collective bargaining agreement. For example, the current salary cap is about $56 million; the Lakers' payroll will exceed $96 million this season.

What that would mean is lower salaries for players, and less ability to consolidate talent onto a single team. It might signal the end of dynasties as we know it, and promote league wide parity. I personally don't think that's a good thing, but we'll have to wait and see if it makes it through collective bargaining negotiations this Summer.

Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:

On tap today at SB Nation D.C.: Jake Whitacre wonders if the Gilbert Arenas we saw at Wizards' Media Day was really a new Gil.