<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Y! Sources: NBA fines several players $15K for playing in an unsanctioned University of Washington alumni game. <a href="http://t.co/VICOj6T3jH">http://t.co/VICOj6T3jH</a></p>— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) <a href="https://twitter.com/WojYahooNBA/statuses/352308434982539265">July 3, 2013</a></blockquote>
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I really think that people have to understand the context of the NBA's fines and the way this went down.
There are really clear guidelines for when players can participate in non-sanctioned summer games. As reported they simply are not allowed prior to June 1. While I'm sure it's organizers had contact with the NBA it is abundantly clear that they put it on during the forbidden window without formally applying for or receiving written permission and by doing so they were able to hold the event on a date before players were dealing with free agency or had left town for summer travel.
This event was announced at a very late date, in the middle of the NBA Finals and right on the heels of a very grueling Seattle/Sacramento saga. I highly doubt that they wanted to look at anything Seattle related for even a minute. If they had looked at it they potentially would have had to deal with the blow back of not allowing it to happen.
If the NBA hated us so much they would have nixed the event. I think that there is a much higher likelihood that the NBA just decided to let this one slip through and because they did so we had an opportunity to watch a fabulous game and enjoy the NBA players for at least 1 day. These fines are more likely than not initiated either by a single team owner or a player agent upset that their player risked injury and demanding that the league enforce its own policies.
Agents and team owners get testy when contract negotiations are in full swing. That's when they pull out all the "well...you are asking for this much money but don't you see the risk I'm taking? That guy could have broken his leg playing in a charity game last week!" type conversations.
Don't read more into this than it is. In some ways the event was a victim of its own success. Had it not sold out and been so highly reviewed it probably would have slipped through the radar.
Buy Spencer Hawes a beer next time you see him in town and let him know you appreciate that he had to pay a price to come entertain you at the alumni game.