The Golden State Warriors have a two-time MVP starting in their backcourt, and NBA brass sent a message to the entire league Monday that he’s not to be trifled with.
Tim Bontemps, of ESPN, reported via Twitter on June 7 that the NBA had announced a fine of $75,000 for Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey. and another $75,000 for the franchise itself, in response to what the league considered to be tampering on the part of Philadelphia’s lead man.
“The NBA announced today it has fined Philadelphia 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey $75,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule,” a statement from the NBA said. “The fine is in response to a social media post Morey made June 3 regarding the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry. The 76ers were also fined $75,000 for Morey’s conduct.”
Morey Alleges He Did Not Intend to Tamper With Tweet
On the day in question, Steph Curry was active on Instagram, praising his younger brother Seth Curry after he dropped 30 points on the Washington Wizards in the Sixers’ Game 5 victory, securing a berth in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
Morey, in response to what Steph wrote, tweeted a screenshot of the Warrior’s post, captioning it with the words “join ’em.” Many around the league — including the league office itself, as it turns out — regarded the message as an indirect attempt to lure the point guard to Philadelphia.
Morey denied the allegations, saying that his words, and their intent, were misinterpreted.
“My goodness folks, I am talking about that we are all thrilled that (Seth Curry) is here with the (76ers) — nothing else!” Morey wrote in a follow-up tweet.
But many in the media remained skeptical. Adam Hermann, of NBC Sports Philadelphia, said the timing of Morey’s recanting, and ultimate deleting of the tweet, work against his anti-tampering claims.
“I think his backtrack might seem more plausible if it came something like 40 minutes after the initial post, maybe where he checks his phone and realizes his words have been twisted,” Hermann said. “Him sending it immediately makes it feel like he knew how people would interpret his message and was lying in wait.”
Morey Has History of Tampering Trouble on Twitter
Morey was fined earlier this season for a tweet involving James Harden, who at the time was a member of the Houston Rockets.
The former MVP made public his discontent with the franchise and his desire to be traded. Morey had left the Rockets the season prior, where he had served as general manager for Harden’s entire stint in Houston after trading for the guard in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Morey took to Twitter to congratulate Harden for a scoring benchmark, which was also interpreted as tampering, as the All-Star guard was asking out of Houston at the time. The NBA ultimately fined Morey $50,000 for his comments.
The Warriors can make Curry the only player in NBA history to sign two contracts worth north of $200 million with a four-year extension this offseason. The team competed in five straight NBA Finals, winning three of them, and guard Klay Thompson is expected back on the court next year after injuries kept him sidelined in 2019 and 2020.
This is all to say that Curry was highly unlikely to leave the potential championship contender, and the only franchise he has ever played for, to move across the country and join his brother on the 76ers.
Still, subtly chipping away at a player’s situation, like what the NBA has deemed Morey was attempting to do with his tweet, is a serious offense that the league office has vowed to take more seriously than in the past.
They proved it Monday with the steep fines levied against both Morey and the 76ers organization.