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Friday, January 9th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  93 responses

The Blazers are Willing to Sue Other Teams Over Darius Miles

by Marcel Mutoni

The Blazers vs. DMiles saga has suddenly turned from merely annoying and boring, to downright insane. Portland has issued a stern warning to the rest of the League, should they sign the lanky forward whose contract could wreak havoc on their salary cap.

Here’s the letter in its entirety, via Sports Illustrated:

“Team Presidents and General Managers,”

“The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions. Such conduct from a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers’ contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.

“Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.”

Adding to the madness, it was recently revealed that Miles really only needs to play in a couple more of games (instead of eight, as previously thought) to screw the Blazers financially.

Of course, now there’s talk that Miles might respond by suing Portland for trying to limit his right to work. I hope he does, and absolutely takes them to the cleaners.

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  • captainflash

    first?

  • captainflash

    let the man earn a living!
    who exactly is trying to screw them?

  • Jess

    this is ridiculous…are they serious? How can you just be like: dont sign him – we dont want him but we dont want to pay him – or else we will sue you…lol wow

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    @captainflash- Any western team would try to screw the blazers now, they’re the up and comers. But seriously, how can they sue others for adversely affecting their financial situation, when they are so hellbent on adversely affecting Darius’ financial situation. He needs more crazy paint for the hoods of his cars.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    ‘tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers’
    We sooo need Shoals to weigh in on this haha.
    So, what if they sign him for the whole season, instead of just one or two games?
    Also, Miles would definitely win a lawsuit IF said team kept him for a whole season.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Lot’s of legal mumbo jumbo in there. Or just big words.

  • underdog

    Wooo, the Blazers front office is truly intimidating. I hope some team sign DMiles though. Just to keep us entertained.

  • Julius J. Hornswaggle IV

    This Miles fellow, doesn’t he need to feed his family?

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    wtf

  • RM

    Spree needed to feed his fam. 5 mill couldn’t do it.. or something like that.

  • SWIFTboy

    My only question is how would they prove the team was signing him to adversely affect their financial situation, as opposed to simply wanting him on their roster, as unbeleivable as that may seem.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Lets get our resident law expert Eboy to weigh in. The roger cossack of slamonline.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    swidtboy- Like I said, signing him for the whole season. Otherwise it won’t hold up in financial court or whatever it is.

  • Ken

    Cosign JJH4

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    They shouldn’t have put that dumb exception into the contract in the first place. Idiots.

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    Let D-Miles play!!!

  • Young Chris MP3

    The Celtics could probably use this guy now…

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Yeah, the first thing I thought when hearing about this was whether D Dmiles could sue or have any recourse against them for “tampering” or otherwise trying to negatively influence his employment opportunities. They came up with the clause (or atleast agreed to it)and should have to abide by it. I want to hear Eboy’s reaction to this.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    The Mavs should sign Darius today and immediately place him in the rotation. You’d think Mark Cuban would love that lawsuit—and write about it.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Also, until I read this I actually liked the Blazers. Now I wish them nothing but the worst. I hope their entire Euro contingent decides to go back home. I hope Greg Oden turns to dust like that guy at the end of “The Last Crusade.” I hope Travis Outlaw demands a trade and Martell Webster demands his starting spot back. I hope LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy have another misunderstanding that destroys the team. I hope Nate McMillan resigns to spend more time with his family. I hope Ghostface Przybilla’s grandmother punches Paul Allen in the face. I hope the new Windows operating system is full of err—OK, well, that’ll happen regardless. Anyway, Portland sucks.

  • Adam T

    Russ, that was strong…

    But somebody’s gotta say it

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Is this the reason he’s not back in L.A. sporting a Clips jersey again. Step up Donald Sterling.

  • a_whiteman

    Russ is right, who better then cuban to make such a move???

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    See, this is ridiculous. I hope he sues them as well. The Blazers are acting like spoiled babies.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Who is a free agent on the Blazers in ’09? If it is anyone of consequence, maybe Joe D. needs a new backup for Tay.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    I hoped Lakers sign Miles, they really needed an extra wing players and to prove to the rest of the league that they aren’t intimidated by the Blazers.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Not in ’09, but here is a list of players becoming free agents from the Blazers in ’10: Oden, Aldridge, Fernandez, Roy, Outlaw, and Bayless. Damn. I wonder if any of those guys can opt-out early?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    Darius Miles>>Portland

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    This is getting quite interesting. I really hope some team signs him just to see how far it’ll go. And it does seem like they would be interferring with Miles’ livelihood. I hope he’s got a sharp lawyer.

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    is it time for “FREE D-MILES” t-shirts? worn backwards naturally

  • AlbertBarr

    My question is: Can Darius actually contribute at this point? Would a team be signing him and actually get production out of him? Perhaps the Blazers are just miffed cause they know he can’t really do it anymore and they feel like anyone signing him would be doing it just for screwing Portland. I understand that the players get the love here on SLAMonline, but is Darius even needing to play in the NBA? Why not euroleauge or something, Bonzi is in China and he isn’t even coming off injury. Perhaps Darius likes the idea of gettin’ back at the Blazers. And, of course, his 18 million. That he hasn’t really earned much of late. That said, Portland has had a lot of luck as of late and they should not whine so much about this as they could easily not have such a great, up-and-coming team. Roy and Aldridge were great trades, Oden was a great lottery ball steal, and somehow they have gotten people to take most of their big contracts attached to mercurial players (esp. Randolph). Complaining about having to pay Darius is a little selfish and nearsighted.

  • Phil B

    well, i’m a blazer fan, so i’ll speak up in defense of the blazers.

    first, i doubt this is the first time any team has done anything like this, it’s more likely the first time anything of this kind has been leaked.

    second, why wouldn’t you do this if you’re the blazers. because of the salary cap, any team under the cap who signs miles and plays him for two games gets more money back from portland going over then they’ll spend on him for the contract. blazers are doing their best to convince them why it’s not a good idea.

    third, obviously miles can’t play… he’s been cut from the grizzles and the clippers tried him out and he didn’t make the team. the only thing worse would be not making the thunder and they have absolutely no reason to sign him. he’s getting paid irregardless from his pdx contract. so i don’t feel bad for him. if his playing didn’t affect my team poorly, i would love to see him back on the court. i have nothing against him personally.

    and lastly, if he does come back and play two more games, portland will probably just sue to get rid of his contract, not sue the team that plays him. an independent medical examiner ruled that miles couldn’t play and that’s why the contract was removed from portlands cap. that’s fair. it’s not fair if they have to pay him to play for someone else.

    and remember, the gms and owners in the nba are in a club together, they probably won’t screw each other over, because soon they’ll need to cooperate on a trade.

  • Son of Shawn

    If I were DMiles, just a second after read this letter, i´d phone my agent to tell him he can offer to 29 NBA team owners all the money Portland´ll have to pay me when I play for them, just for fvck

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Shut up, Phil. You’re defending player haters. That makes you a hater.

  • Roberto

    What if a team needs a temporary player and want to sign him to a 10-day contract? Like a real contract and not a “screw you Blazers” contract, then will the Blazers think that so-called team is messing with them either way and still try to sue?? Thet are just down right stupid.

  • Phil B

    yeah, Im a player hater
    i hate when players can’t take their turn

    point to whoever knows what song that is from. no cheating.

  • JamTeq

    This cannot be legal!
    At the end of the day the blazers signed the contract so need to accept the consequences. If teams didn’t think to hire D. Miles to screw the Blazers before you can bet your a$$ they will now.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Phil, this is not about Miles’ game. It’s about an organization trying to limit the employment opportunities of an individual by using scare-tactics. I hope he sues them regardless of whether he plays another minute in the L.

  • AlbertBarr

    “This cannot be legal!
    At the end of the day the blazers signed the contract so need to accept the consequences.”

    Yes, but contracts are not so cut and dry. Until I hear the players union saying this is sh– then I will assume it is legit standard operating procedure. Darius also signed the contract and should be prepared for what parts of it HE is violating.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    …Such conduct from a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer.
    – BS. For them to have some sort of basis for litigation they would basically need a written document from Team X that would say that they’re signing Miles for the sole ‘purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions’. I could only see it working if Miles signes a 10-day with the Wolves.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    AlbertBarr, what part is he violating exactly?! Dude is trying to get back to the L.

  • melvin ely

    @phil: when you don’t agree with what a doctor has diagnosed you with, you have the right to seek a second opinion. It just so happened that in this case ‘fit to work’ ends up costing the first doctor 18 mil :\

  • http://fdjklf.com Jukai

    Eh, this is a toughie. I really can’t fault the Blazer’s for doing this. Miles CLEARLY can’t play in the NBA level anymore (he was waived from Memphis AND the Clips? Not a chance) so this really is just to screw Portland.
    I don’t really feel bad for Miles because a) he makes his 22 million anyway and b) he’s not NBA quality anymore. He really should be in the Euroleague.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Jukai, why does is wealth matter? He wants to play basketball in the NBA! It’s obviously not a money issue because he’s getting paid what he’s owed and he’ll make no more than the vet’s min. I mean, I don’t get the whole ‘just shut up and take it, you’re a millionaire’ attitude.

  • b-rad

    Think about how much he has made in his career… and for doing what? If i remember correctly he sat out two years earning over 10 mill a season just smoking his body stupid

  • Static

    There’s other players still in the league right now that are less NBA quality than DMiles…

  • Phil B

    dude’s still getting paid regardless. and everyone knows he sucks. teams only want to sign him to hurt portland. that’s shady. so portland tries scare tactics to prevent it from happening. that’s shady. it’s shady league. it’s start at the top and trickles down (reagan was right!) all the way down to the BALLBOYS!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Khalid Salaam

    Some team should threaten to sign Miles if the Blazers don’t trade them Brandon Roy.

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  • Blue

    I agree with Khalid…just how much is it worth to them, exactly? Why penalize someone for capitalizing on an idiotic contract stipulation that should have at least been restructured when they realized Darius wasn’t about sh*t? Just like the bail out, we have rich dudes not wanting to own up to there mistakes and are they are willing to make others suffer to get themselves out of it.

  • Phil B

    who exactly is suffering?

  • rav

    so if miles ends up playing 2 more games do the blazers still owe him the rest of the money – surely there must have been a clause saying that if he were to play more than 10 games he’d either forego that money right?

  • Phil B

    no, he gets paid the money whether he plays or not. nba contracts are guaranteed. when he was medically retired, the contract didn’t count against portland’s cap. if he plays ten games it goes back on. if it were just a case of miles foregoing the money, i bet he’d still be “rehabing”.

  • rav

    then would it have been possible for portland to have put in a clause to say that if he wanted to get his money he couldnt play? didnt the knicks have an agreement with allan houston like that or is my mind playing tricks with me?

  • http://fdjklf.com Jukai

    Z my point never was wealth. My point is that Miles CLEARLY isn’t ready to be in the league, but teams are still signing him. That’s sorta BS’y.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    i officially think portland is horrible.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Z
    The shut up and take it you’re a millionaire attitude is amazing isn’t it?
    It’s everywhere with fans of every sport. I’m telling you, money buys a lot of souls these days. For real.
    If you think that earning a bunch of money limits your ability to speak your mind or complain, then your are basically saying you’re willing to sacrifice your constitutional rights for cash. Wait, scatch that, you’re willing to scratch your rights a human, since that’s what inalienable really was getting at.
    I have sympathy for people if they are being wronged. Period. How much money they have is irrelevant.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    “Irregardless” is the dumbest word ever. Sorry, it just pisses me of when I see/hear it.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    This does make me hate the Blazers a little. I’ll bet Cubes would sign Miles, and you KNOW he hates Paul Allen. I already don’t like PDx as much as a lot of others do. There just not that fun to watch. Although Roy is a beast and Rudy sorta looks like a crackhead (which is awesome)

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    b-rad is a moron.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    There’s an article on the evil website (true hoop) about it that just popped up. The Union is getting involved and the NBA is saying that “Under league rules, teams are free to sign Darius Miles to a Uniform Player Contract if they wish to secure his services as a player, and any such contract would be approved by the NBA.”
    I don’t know why Portland released a statement, they could have just let the word out. Now, if Miles DOES NOT sign with a team this year, he could sue them this summer for infringement of his right to work.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    So, Boston, Memphis and Clips were jsut out to hurt Portland.
    I saw Miles play in the preseason, he isn’t the player he once was, but he’s not a total bum. He could be an 11th or 12th man on several teams.
    So, is he betraying Portland if he pursues that dream just because they paid him money? How does that work? He signed a contract, Portland is OBLIGATED to pay him.
    The could have just bought him out and said good look. Instead, they decided to medically retire him because they gambled he wasn’t good enough to get signed somewhere else. They may be wrong.

  • http://n/a 007

    What happens if Miles don’t get to play 10 games even for the Blazers? Does that mean he gets no salary for the 2 years..not even a single cent? Wow, that’s sad.

  • neaorin

    Let me introduce a great new concept to the Blazers brass: Don’t overpay for role players who have done nothing to show they’re worthy of it. I know, amazing, isn’t it?

  • Joe

    I hope the team who signs D-Miles, signs him a game before they play Portland. Just imagine, D-Miles plays 35 mins. the game before and scores the buzzer-beater to win it. And the next game against Portland, The Blazers are killing whatever team D-Miles is on, and they are up by 30 with :35 to go in the 4th, and D-Miles is subbed into the game, and hits a meaningless basket at the buzzer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Z
    Why is True Hoop evil? It’s a little biased about certain things, but that’s to be expected on most blogs. And it’s owned by ESPN, which is in fact evil.
    But, Abbott doesn’t seem evil. He just seems fairly typical.

  • http://n/a 007

    I think Miles has a right to work irregardless of what the Blazers think. He should get some bit of his contract at least.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    How arrogant are the Blazers to think that everyone thinks about them and their salary cap before they make a move?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    True Hoop is very good.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    However, i’m refusing to visit ESPN.com since they did their makeover.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    Miles should sue the Blazers. This is retarded.

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    Miles should go to the Suns and get some rap lessons in the process.
    “Hey Blazers, tell me how my contract taste”

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    First, Portland would have a helluva hard time trying to prove a team was trying to ‘tortuously interfere.’ Second, the League will be supportive of any team that wants Darius Miles to play for them. Basically, the Blazers now have the NBA against them.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I guess that wasn’t clear. The evil website is the one that True Hoop is on.

  • Joey

    the blazers are gonna be screwed.
    they’re gonna have to trade some of that talent now. Roy, Aldridge are gonna get HUGE extensions, and guys like Outlaw, Oden, Batum, Rudy, etc. are gonna want some money as well.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    LMFAO they’re trying to prevent Miles from getting signed? Ahahaha Miles can sue them, and WIN.
    Say goodbye to your players, Portland. You won’t be able to afford keeping all of that talent. Though it will be sad. That’s a doozy, isn’t it Blazers?

  • neaorin

    Well Danny Gilbert is already firing back at the Blazers. I am liking the man more and more each day.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    How is Darius Miles CLEARLY not ready to be in the NBA? I can name 10 guys off the top of my head who are on active rosters that are worse. Teams can sign whomever they want. There are no minimum fitness (hello, Eddy Curry) or skill (hello, Ben Wallace) requirements you have to meet before being added to an NBA roster. Darius Miles is a 27-year-old, 6-9 NBA vet who once scored 47 points in a game. Why shouldn’t he be able to play?

  • Joey

    hahaha. The NBA sent a memo to all teams saying they support any signing of DMiles. yeah, Blazers are still screwed

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I know that the legal stuff is part of the league. But just play the basketball, dammit! Gotta go for the “B” over the “A” in “NBA”.

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    Miami long term, Cleveland short term

  • Bombsquad

    Dmiles has his money, it just doesnt count against the blazers cap. He also has game. Memphis lost their nerv and released him. He could start or be a hella 6 man in the league which currently favours guys with his body type. I love your comment Russ, I have a cupboard full of Dmiles jerseys cause he’s the man. 47 points in a game! And he woulda been close to an allstar the year he got hurt..

    BRING HIM BACK!!

  • Cam Jones

    The Knicks could use Miles with all the injuries they have maybe plugging Miles in for a little while would help matters alongs as well sending a nice New York City salute to Portland in the name of Zach Randolph.

  • Brad

    I believe they paid Memphis off to release him.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    Memphis just re-sign him, Congrats

  • Brad

    Wooo Hoooo Miles is back in memphis let’s play him 2 more games so we can screw portland baby!

  • vmcb

    Memphis cut him to apparently avoid having to guarantee his contract, or something like that. Seems kind of fishy to me. The braintrust over in Portland are acting like pricks, but I wouldn’t put it past some organizations to sign Miles just to put Portland over the salary cap.

  • http://nba2thestreets.blogspot.com/ henryjkim

    i hope miles sues and wins in court. blazers front office is just plain dirty. every man should be able to work. miles is better then most bench players that never see PT.

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  • lobster

    Here’s hoping he completely blows out his knee in Game 9 of the comeback trail. As for feeding the family comments – gimme a freakin’ break. The guy got multi-millions in signing bonuses and if he can’t control where his money goes that’s his problem. He ain’t hurtin.

  • Drew

    I think if DMiles is gonna play a few more games he should have to play the games for the blazers cause the blazers are the team thats paying him. Why should he not play for the blazers then?

  • http://www.betagainstme.com/?affid=959 BetAgainstMe

    Dirty games.Hope Miles sues and wins

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