The National Basketball Association has fined Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $100,000 for violating anti-tampering rules with public comments he made about Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.
The fine was announced Saturday by Joel Litvin, NBA president of league and basketball operations.
Cuban made the comments about James in an interview with CNNMoney.com.on May 18.
In the interview, Cuban said his Mavericks would be interested in pursuing the two-time MVP should he become a free agent on July 1.
"Come July 1, yeah, of course. Anybody would be interested in LeBron James, and if he leaves via free agency, then it's going to be tough," Cuban said in the interview.
"If he does like I'm guessing, hoping he will, which is say, 'I'm not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,' if he decides to leave - there's still a better chance he stays - then he'll try to force a sign-and-trade, and that gives us a chance. ... What I do know about LeBron in the minimal time I've spent talking to him is he just wants to win. Money's not his issue. He needs to be someplace where he trusts the organization.â
The NBA's anti-tampering policy was detailed in a memo to all 30 teams in 2008:
"If a member of your organization is asked by the media about a potential free agent prior to the July 1 following the last season covered by the player's contract, or about any other person under contract with another NBA team, the only proper response is to decline comment."