NBA commissioner David Stern congratulates LeBron James on his decision. He just wishes it came without "The Decision."
Stern said Monday he would have advised James to tell the Cleveland Cavaliers of his choice to leave for the Miami Heat earlier, and that the two-time MVP’s announcement shouldn’t have come in a made-for-TV special that attracted nearly 10 million viewers.
The commissioner said James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh violated no league rules in discussing free agency among themselves, and that the league isn’t investigating how the Heat landed all three.
“The advice that he received on this was poor,” Stern said about James’ ESPN show, “The Decision,” after NBA owners met in Las Vegas. “The performance was fine. His honesty and his integrity, I think, shined through. But this decision was ill-conceived.”
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Stern also took action against Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert, fining him $100,000 for words that the commissioner described as “a little bit extreme.”
Despite the fine, Gilbert issued a statement disagreeing with the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s portrayal of his reaction to James’ decision as a “slave master mentality.”
“I strongly disagree with Rev. Jesse Jackson’s recent comments and we are not going to engage in any related discussion on it,” Gilbert’s statement said.
Stern called Jackson a friend and ally to the NBA, but said he thought his reaction to Gilbert went too far.
Power forward Udonis Haslem signed a five-year deal worth $20 million to stay with Miami, rejecting richer offers from the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets. … Miami completed the trade it agreed to Thursday, sending former No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley to Minnesota for two second-round picks and cash. … Veteran point guard Derek Fisher said he will re-sign with the two-time defending champion L.A. Lakers, where he has spent 11 of his 14 NBA seasons. … Sources said Orlando will sign free agent forward Quentin Richardson. … San Antonio signed center Tiago Splitter three years after drafting him from Spain.