The summer soap opera involving DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers added another chapter to the drama on Tuesday.
The NBA fined the Clippers $250,000 for violating league rules while trying to re-sign Jordan during free agency last month.
During their presentation to Jordan on July 2, the Clippers committed the violation in their pitch to the center by including a potential third-party endorsement deal.
The deal was with Lexus and it would have paid Jordan about $200,000 annually, according to NBA officials not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The endorsement deal, according to one official, was pitched by the Clippers’ business side.
The NBA concluded after an investigation that the endorsement proposal had no impact on Jordan’s decision to re-sign with the Clippers for $88 million over four years.
But the NBA said league rules prohibit teams from providing or arranging for others to provide to a player unless it is included in a player’s contract or is otherwise permitted under the collective bargaining agreement.
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Jordan’s agent, Dan Fegan, declined to comment Tuesday.
Going into free agency the Clippers made it clear their primary goal was to re-sign Jordan, one of the top defensive centers in the league and a key player in their bid to win an NBA title. Three other teams pursued Jordan, the Dallas Mavericks, the New York Knicks and the Lakers.
When Jordan met with the Clippers in July, the contingent included Ballmer, Clippers Coach and President Doc Rivers and President of Business Operations Gillian Zucker. Fegan was also in the meeting.
The Jordan mini-series began on July 3, when he informed the Mavericks he would join their team in a four-year, $80-million deal.
Things turned crazy a few days later when Jordan told Rivers he was having second thoughts about leaving the Clippers, the only team he had played for in his seven-year NBA career.
So a group of Clippers that included Rivers, Ballmer and players Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and new teammate Paul Pierce went to Jordan’s home in Houston on July 8.
The group stayed until Jordan signed his contract after the NBA’s moratorium was lifted at 9:01 p.m. PST.
Before Jordan re-signed that night, there were emojis tweeted out by Redick, Griffin, Paul and Dallas forward Chandler Parsons about their pursuit of Jordan.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban also attempted to get another meeting with Jordan but never heard back from the center.
Two weeks later at a Clippers news conference, Jordan said, “part of being a man is admitting when you’ve made a wrong decision and owning up to it.”
The Clippers-Jordan saga is likely to continue for a while because the Clippers’ home opener is against the Mavericks at Staples Center on Oct. 29 and the Clippers visit Dallas on Nov. 11.
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner