Last Friday, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison made some comments on his Twitter account, that NBA commissioner David Stern did not take kindly to. Stern fined him $500,000, half-a-millions dollars for his tweets. There are reports out there that the commissioner was pressured to levy a heavy fine on Arison by the small-market owners. It has become increasingly evident that the NBA is no longer even ran by Stern. He has become a puppet for the small-market owners. One of the tweets that Arison sent out included:
“How’s it feel to be apart of ruining the best game in the world? NBA owners/players don’t give a damn about fans&and guess what? Fans provide all the money you’re fighting over&you greedy (expletive) pigs. Arison replied: “You are barking at the wrong owner.”
This tweet was deleted an hour after the tweet was made, but the message was delivered loud and clear. Arison is on the side of the players and does not feel that he is at fault for the lockout.
In the past, Stern fined Wizards owner Ted Leonsis $100,000 for comments about the owners’ want for a hard salary cap. Last month, Stern fined Bobcats owner Michael Jordan $100,000 for telling a media outlet the NBA’s current business model was “broken.” Arison’s fine is by far much steeper then either of those. In fact, it is five times the fine of the other two owners. Arison of course is worth $4 billion, so this will not put a major dent in his pocket, but you have to believe that Arison heard the message that the small-market owners puppet was sending loud and clear.
On the surface , it may seem like Arison does not care about the new CBA because he knows that he will make money with his Heat franchise regardless. However, the truth is that Arison has always been accommodating to build a franchise that is a winner. Arison has hired a president of operations like Pat Riley, he has signed off on major free agents snags such as, Alonzo Morning, Tim Hardaway, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh. Arison has signed off on blockbuster trades involving Shaquille O’Neal. So yes, Arison has done exactly what has been asked of him to build a strong foundation for a championship contender year in and out. Also, Arison has not been prudent with his money when his teams have struggled. Arison was still more then happy to field rosters with highly paid players when his Heat team was nowhere near relevance. This is a lot more then other owners can say, (we’re looking at you Dan Gilbert).
All in all, yes, the NBA did fine Micky Arison, and yes, they may have shut him up. However, that maybe just for now. Think about it, whenever the season starts and free agents can sign anywhere, some players may feel spited by the other owners and want to play for Arison’s franchise. Arison will be more then willing to pay a luxury tax to add talent around his big 3. I expect Micky Arison and the Miami Heat to come out as major winners after this lockout.