Atlanta Hawks May Have Tampered With Chris Paul and Dwight Howard

by June 05, 2013

In an email sent to potential ticket buyers, the Atlanta Hawks’ marketing department committed a gaffe by mentioning free agents Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. It could be a case of tampering. Per the AJC: “Howard, who is from Atlanta, and Paul are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents July 1. As each currently is under contract, with the Lakers and Clippers respectively, a team is not allowed to speak about them publicly. The letter was sent via email by a member of the ticket-sales department. It was on team letterhead and headlined ‘Hot New Player news: Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.’ It began with the statement: ‘The buzz around our offseason is more than heating up. With massive cap space, 4 draft picks, and free agency rapidly approaching, we sit in the best position in the NBA. Player interest is skyrocketing as the possibilities of landing Chris Paul & Dwight Howard become more and more of a reality.’ The letter included a link to a story on reporting that Paul was unhappy with the notion that he played a role in the dismissal of coach Vinny Del Negro last month. ‘This is your opportunity to get on board before its (sic) too late. Once we solidify our signings there will be no seats left,’ the letter added. Hawks president Bob Williams issued a statement on the issue Tuesday evening. ‘The letter that has been referred to was written by one of our season-ticket reps of his own volition. While certainly he is a member of our business staff, his specific reference clearly does not represent how our basketball operations or our business staff have consistently communicated about free agency. It is unfortunate that this mistake, by a single ticket rep with no ill intent, occurred.’ According to a league spokesman, the NBA would not comment on the situation.’ As part of its collective bargaining agreement, the league defines tampering as when a player or a team directly or indirectly entices, induces or persuades anyone under contract with another team in order to negotiate for their services. The NBA detailed its anti-tampering policy in a memo sent to all 30 teams in 2008.”