The NBA isafter a whirlwind summer in which superstars and super teams allegedly tampered their way around rules to dominate the market and, well, get what they want.
But is the NBA embarking on a fruitless mission by doing so?
According to former MLB executive David Samson, a guest co-host on Thursday’s “Kanell & Bell” podcast, no professional sports league is ever going to eliminate “premature” communications between players and teams interested in each other.
“How many teams are in the NBA?” he said on Thursday’s episode. “Thirty? Thirty-two in the NFL, 30 in MLB. Guess what? That is 92 teams. Every single one of them tampers. Every one. We tampered, and we got tampered with.”
What, exactly, is the NBA trying to accomplish, then, by investigating this year’s free agency?
“It’s eyewash,” Samson continued. “It’s eyewash. It’s the integrity of the game … It’s the NBA (thinking free agency is) hurting fan bases when players don’t want to play in those middle-market or small markets.”
In reality, he added, players and teams almost have to “tamper” to do business. A player with a one-year option, for example, isn’t going to decline an option if he hasn’t first scouted his potential market — and potential paydays from other teams. A team, meanwhile, isn’t going to commit big money to a top free agent if it hasn’t first done extensive research, such as meeting with the player and/or his friends, teammates and so forth — even though free agency “officially” begins at a designated time.