Friday, January 9, 2009

The Darius Miles Situation

So, I am sure most of you that care already know, but there are big doings for the Blazers on the whole Darius Miles thing.

For now I am not going to delve into the whys, whats or wherefores of the whole thing, but there is one point I feel compelled to get out there. Many of the people that are discussing this issue find the letter/email sent out threatening litigation to have been little more then bluster. "How can you prove the other team acted maliciously?" they ask. The short answer is "circumstantial evidence," or "inferential reasoning" if you will.

Here is the crux of the issue:  If Miles plays 2 more games this year it would have a somewhat significant negative impact on Portland's cap space heading into the off season. In the NBA a team can sign a player to 10 day contract which would be enough to Miles in to two games without significant cost to the signing team. Portland sent out a letter making it clear that if it appeared a team was signing and playing Miles for the purpose of harming Portland's cap they would take legal action.

So consider this:  Team A signs Miles to a 10 day contract, plays him 1 minute of garbage time in each of 2 games during that 10 days and then lets him go. Miles isn't signed and doesn't play another game all season. In other words, Team A did just enough to put Miles' salery pack on Portland's cap. Sure there is no direct evidence of the intent, NBA executives are smart enough not to put thier ill intent in an email. But we can infer their intent. And a jury/judge could do the exact same thing. I am not saying it would be the easiest case, but the "journalists" claiming that it can't be proven are some combination of naieve, dumb or too lazy to think it through. 

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