The NBA has ceased operations with the expiration of the then-current collective bargaining agreement. Essentially, until a new CBA is agreed upon, the NBA is dead. There is no NBA. Sure, there may be again at some point, but as of this moment, NBA = nada. That being said, if you're a member of an NBA team's staff, it's advisable to completely ignore any players associated with your team, especially in the social media realm.
Last night, it was revealed that the stipulations of the NBA lockout means absolutely no contact between teams and players. Any violations of this edict could result in a $1 million fine:
Teams were told by the NBA front office that any violation will draw a $1 million fine and the possible loss of draft picks, league sources told [Ric] Bucher. The first warning was issued during the first round of the playoffs, two months before the lockout was implemented.
While all of that is well and good -- in regards to grown men trying to figure out how to amicably split over $4 billion, the phrase "well and good" probably isn't correct; "greed and arrogance" may be -- the kicker, which also comes from Ric Bucher, is these stipulations apply to social media as well, especially Twitter:
NBA GMs/coaches can still follow their players on Twitter during lockout. But a mention or re-tweet? $1 million fine + maybe loss of picks.
That's a great deal of jack just for reposting a message that consists of 140 characters (or less). In fact, it's about $7142.86 a character, and that's only if the 140-character limit was met. With that in mind, I'm surprised they are even allowed to follow players during this period of labor strife. It wouldn't be the least bit surprising if David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, removed that right altogether, but, as Bucher's tweet says, Stern is giving these apparently giving these coaches and general managers just enough rope to hang themselves. Someone has to pay for the losses some of the NBA teams are apparently taking.
Bucher's Twitter has some more details about what is and isn't allowed during the NBA lockout:
Rule II: Coaches w/AAU or college-playing sons (Mike Brown/Larry Drew/Doc Rivers) can watch games but not practices + ONLY son's game. Or...
Anybody have an audio file of Dr. Evil saying "One meellion dollars"? I'd like to add it to every tweet on NBA lockout rules as I find them.
With word about the NFL lockout talks losing ground, there's a growing chance that, in 2012, the NHL and Major League Baseball will be the only two professional leagues in operation, and that's just sad.