Saturday, January 10, 2009
Darius Miles became a chess piece rather than an actual athlete at some point during the past few seasons. After some oft-injured years in Portland, he was let go after a doctor determined he hadn't recovered from a right knee injury, and Portland prez Larry Miller and GM Kevin Pritchard used some interesting legal math to where if he did not play, his contract came off the Blazers' books.
Miles is two games away from a 10-game trigger that makes the Blazers responsible for his salary, thus making it near impossible for them to acquire a free agent. So, Miller sent out an email to the other owners threatening legal action if anyone re-signed Miles after the Grizzlies cut him earlier this week (he'd been with Boston earlier for six pre-season games, and played in two games for the Grizzlies.)
Well, the Grizzlies just told the Blazers to eff right off, picking him right back up and re-signing Miles to a ten-day contract -- and don't be surprised if he gets garbage time in two games to get the Blazers to pay up the $12 million left on his contract.
Everyone in the NBA is rightfully in a shvitz over this because this isn't the NFL at this point; to an extent, the NBA still has some balance as a player's league and a better union. David Stern hasn't gone down that kind of draconian path yet (and to an extent, he can't, with player contracts being guaranteed), and so far, quite a few owners and GMs are calling out Portland on this crap, which is really asking for collusion by any other name.