View Full Version : Knicks Fined for Illegal Scouting | Brandon Rush was Allegedly Involved

02-03-2011, 06:05 PM

GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -- The NBA fined the New York Knicks (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/teams/knicks) $200,000 and team scout Rodney Heard $20,000 on Thursday for conducting illegal draft workouts.

The league ruled that Heard, the Knicks' director of East scouting, violated rules restricting contact between teams and players eligible for the draft in May 2007 and May 2010.

Under the rules at that time, players were not eligible to be worked out for teams before the NBA's predraft camp in May.
The NBA had been investigating the Knicks since a Yahoo! Sports report in October that Heard coordinated and conducted the secret workouts in suburban Atlanta. The report said former Kansas All-American Brandon Rush (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/4475) tore the ACL in his right knee during one of the sessions.

The Knicks said in a statement they will abide by the decision and have no further comment. The league could also have handed down suspensions or made the Knicks forfeit draft picks, but apparently felt the violations weren't severe enough.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/basketball/nba/02/03/knicks.fined.ap/index.html#ixzz1Cw5zjV2J

02-03-2011, 06:10 PM
This is old news.

02-03-2011, 06:13 PM
The fines that just occurred today are old news?

02-03-2011, 06:46 PM
Maybe not that they were fined....but Eleazar was saying that the story about the Knicks doing illegal scouting on BRush has been reported already.

As for the fines.....great...I've reverted back to my old Knick-hating days...so...yeah...screw them for messing with BRush.

02-03-2011, 06:46 PM
The Knicks...cheaters? That's Redikulous.

02-04-2011, 12:41 AM
That's it, $200k? Not exactly much of a deterrent.

02-04-2011, 12:26 PM
Done under IT. Hard to punish the Knicks since they were already punished enough by IT.

02-04-2011, 12:37 PM
According to Vecsey, also happened in 2010 (Ekpe Udoh involved)

Edit: whoops, that was in the original report by Woj. Link here:

But the Vecsey article is interesting in its own right.


Commish lets N.Y. off hook
Last Updated: 5:58 AM, February 4, 2011
Posted: 12:52 AM, February 4, 2011
Peter Vecsey

"The NBA just validated the cost of doing illegal business. A $220,000 fine is well worth it to find a good player," said a team official who insisted on anonymity for fear his adverse quote would get him docked double what the Knicks were penalized yesterday because of their scouting violations.

To paraphrase that great social commentator, Archie Bunker, here's the thing about jurisprudence: "It has to be a detergent to crime."

Evidently, commissioner David Stern's past punishments to the benders and breakers of league law in such matters -- of which there have been many but none as flagrantly hideous as this -- has not exactly acted as a detergent or a deterrent.

SLAP ON WRIST: Commissioner David Stern fined the Knicks and scout Rodney Heard for breaking draft rules by working out underclassmen ineligible at the time to be drafted, like Wilson Chandler (above). Peter Vecsey says the fines won't deter clubs from repeating the practice again.

Otherwise the Knicks, under one owner -- James Dolan -- and two different team presidents -- Isiah Thomas and Donnie Walsh -- wouldn't have casually and brazenly conducted unauthorized workouts in 2007 and 2010 for underclassmen ineligible at the time to be drafted who included Wilson Chandler, Brandon Rush and Ekpe Udoh.

According to Yahoo!, which broke the sleazy story in November, scout Rodney Heard managed the drills, exercises and scrimmaging both years. His participation cost him $20,000. Regardless of whether it was consensual, it cost the Knicks $200,000.

I had heard about the '07 workouts shortly after they took place and that Brandon Rush, then a Kansas sophomore, had torn up his knee. Yet I was never able to confirm the workout or that Rush hurt himself during them.

Thomas held the pre-draft meeting for the entire Knicks' staff that year near his vacation home on Hilton Head, S.C. I was informed he attended the illegal workout in Atlanta beforehand. Again, I was unable to confirm that.

Chandler wound up being drafted by the Knicks in the first round (No. 23) after declining to work out for any other team. At one of his first games as a rookie I asked him point blank about the workout and Rush hurting himself. He said he had no idea what I was talking about.

The following season Rush joined the Pacers after initially being selected No. 13 by the Blazers, who traded his draft rights two weeks later. Twice, maybe three times, I called Chicago-based agent Mark Bartelstein and told him what I thought I knew about his client's workout/injury.

I asked him to run it by Rush and get back to me. I'm still waiting for an answer.

Yahoo! was more persistent and diligent and smarter. It bypassed the agent and Rush admitted everything. All the league had to do was follow the facts. It was as easy an open-and-shut case as when the league was gifted an illegally signed contract between the Timberwolves and Joe Smith. That resulted in lengthy suspensions of owner Glen Taylor, the team lawyer and president Kevin McHale and the eventual forfeiture of three first round picks.

The Knicks repeated offense resulted in Stern fining arguably the richest organization in the association a spit in the ocean. Apparently Stern didn't want to take away any of the Knicks' few remaining draft picks this decade and hurt their chances of getting Carmelo Anthony. I'm unsure if that howling we hear from the other owners is in anger or laughter.
Here we have a commissioner who has upped the ante on any number of crimes and crybabies --fighting, leaving the bench during a fight, talking back to the teachers, under-the-table contract agreements, taunting, long shorts, bench attire and protesting calls/showing up the referees -- yet the Knicks get cropped two hundred large?

Talk about disrespect for the game!

Spurred on by Stern's puny penalty, teams already are scheduling surreptitious workouts with ineligible players well worth the risk. Clearly, it's not time yet to think twice before attempting to pull a fast one.

"The league is allowing the lazy, well-endowed teams to be rewarded," e-mailed another team official. "Either we abide by the rules or completely open the scouting, evaluation process. Let the market set the parameters and allow the 'hardest and smartest' to win."

This just in: The Dolans recouped that number fivefold as part of Cablevision's new "Remote Control Reconnaissance Fee," or I like to call it, "Clicker Shock."

Just for good measure, three secretaries were fired.

In an unrelated matter, the Knicks fined Eddy Curry 200G for unauthorized cookouts.

There is only one way for Stern to redeem himself any time soon in this space; appoint Kevin Love to the All-Star team as a replacement for the injured Yao Ming.


02-04-2011, 12:57 PM
Let's remember moments like this when we're rushing to kiss Stern's feet as the great leader of the NBA.

02-04-2011, 07:34 PM
Someone in Indiana thinks that Stern is the great leader of the NBA?


02-04-2011, 08:04 PM
The article brings up the good point of the seeming hypocrisy between what Minny did and NY, albeit, Donnie or others in the Knicks might not have known or been complicit in the workouts. As no one can confirm IT was at the first one, I guess IT gets off the hook, too.

Does seem to be a bad standard.

Kid Minneapolis
02-04-2011, 11:46 PM
Let's remember moments like this when we're rushing to kiss Stern's feet as the great leader of the NBA.

Stern is like O'Brien --- not the right man for the job.