For those not familiar with the Darius Miles saga, here’s a recap. Years ago the Portland Trail Blazers signed fat drug addict Darius Miles to a big long term contract. It was a gigantic waste of money, but the Blazers caught a break. A knee inspection deemed that there was enough damage in Miles’ knee to declare it career ending. giving Portland the rights to put Miles on waivers. He could now retire peacefully, but he did still have the right to sign with another team. If he retired, Miles’ contract comes off the books. If he signed with a new team and played in at least 10 games this season, his contract (worth 18 million) goes back on to Portland’s books. This is where it gets interesting.
Miles decided he wanted to play. He signed with the Boston Celtics and played in 6 pre-season games, but no regular season games. Boston waived him on October 20th. Miles was then picked up by the Memphis Grizzlies, who played him in 2 games before cutting him this past Wednesday. A report by Yahoo! Sports revealed that the 6 games counted, which was also confirmed by the league. So he’s got 2 games to go before he ruins Portland’s cap space plans. The stakes are high for Portland, since getting Miles off the books could mean they could become a big time player in the 2010 Free Agent Class. The Free Agent class of 2010 is perhaps the most talented in history, including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson and many more.
Here’s where it gets even more interesting. Portland released a statement yesterday addressed to all other NBA teams threatening litigation should anyone attempt to sign Miles:
” ‘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.’ “
I’ve never seen anything like this in the world of sports. Portland doesn’t have any rights to Miles. They waived him. They’re essentially threatening to sue any team for hiring somebody they are legally in their right to sign because they believe they’re entitled to their cap space. Not only that, they’re sabotaging Miles’ chance at a new job, which I’m sure piques the interest of Miles’ lawyers. To go further, the NBA players are part of a player’s union, who I’m sure will also take umbrage with a team trying to sandbag one of their player’s careers for sake of saving money.
This intimidation should not be rewarded. I am calling on ANY team, including my beloved Lakers, to sign Miles to a 10-day contract, play him for 1 minute in 2 games, and promptly cut him. Some team needs to step up and stop Portland.