Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Miami Heat owner Micky Arison was fined $500,000 for his Twitter comments on the never-ending NBA lockout. But if some NBA owners had their way, Arison would have been hit in the pocketbook even harder.
NBA Commissioner David Stern levied such a pricey fine on Arison for two reasons. One, Arison violated the league’s edict to not speak about the lockout.
The second, more important reason, was that by revealing he wasn’t an owner holding up the deal; he showed the first crack amongst the owners in the collective bargaining negotiations.
By allowing the players to see for the first time that all owners were not in agreement, it will allow the players to only harden their position in hopes that other owners will also begin to break down.
Arison essentially made it public knowledge that he is one of the owners willing to compromise and wants to get the players back on the court sooner rather than later.
According to the Sports Business Journal, several NBA owners pushed for the fine and even asked for the fine to be for $1 million, which was Stern’s initial threat to owners to keep them in line.
The unprecedented fine was five times the amount any owner has ever been fined for public statements on the NBA lockout.
And according to the Palm Beach Post, the fine could turn into a big positive for Arison because non-Heat players have said they know that Arison isn’t part of the problem with the owners.
That could come in very handy when it comes time to sign some key free agents to put around the Heat’s Big Three. If they view Arison in a positive light, his Heat will always come out ahead when free agents look for a new team.