UW alums encounter NBA fines for fun day

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comJuly 4, 2013 

Washington’s recent alumni game was a celebration of former Huskies basketball players. It turned out to be costly for some.

The NBA fined a group of players for participating in the June 23 alumni game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion because it was not sanctioned by the league.

According to a Yahoo Sports report, former UW stars Isaiah Thomas, Quincy Pondexter, Tony Wroten and Spencer Hawes were fined $15,000 apiece.

The NBA confirmed that a “group” of participants were fined. However, a league spokesman would not get into specifics as to whom, how much or why. He simply said the game was not sanctioned by the league, so the fines followed.

It’s unclear whether other NBA players, such as Terrence Ross and Nate Robinson, will also be fined for their participation.

The key is the date: According to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, players may not play in a public offseason game prior to July 1 or after Sept. 15. The alumni game was June 23.

When asked at the end of the event if the Huskies would

do it again, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said that he was interested, but some things would have to improve. He mentioned concern about contracts and such, but nothing about league approval.

Part of the reason Robinson played little and did not participate in the dunk contest was that he’s an unrestricted free agent who was told by his agents not to participate at all. Such cases will be challenges if Washington tries for another alumni game.

Any organized game that NBA players participate in is subject to the foils of the league. That’s part of the reason it was so difficult to put together a local NBA charity game during the NBA lockout prior to the 2011-12 season. The league has numerous rules and sanctions around such arrangements.

In the case of charity games — which the alumni game was not — those rules are in place to guarantee the money goes to charity (a minimum of $100,000), rather than in someone’s pocket while using the NBA brand. But, the point is, these things are never easy to put together because of the league’s rules.

Apparently, Washington has learned this the hard way.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports

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