San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard and other NBA stars are set to participate in an exhibition game in Manila to help prepare the Filipino men’s national team for the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup.
However, it seems the NBA did not sanction this event and warned the players to not partake in the charity game overseas or face consequences.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
The National Basketball Association warned a touring group of its stars that they could face financial fines for participating in clinics in Manila, Philippines, that include short scrimmages and games of “H-O-R-S-E,” league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Several NBA stars, including Blake Griffin, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard, were scheduled to participate in promotional appearances in Manila this week, and the NBA has told its Players Association that the event organizers failed to gain league approval, sources said.
The NBA warned against violations that included “some kind of exhibition of basketball skills,” including shooting games and dunk contests, an NBPA memo obtained by Yahoo Sports said.
In the memo, the Players Association informed player agents and players that the NBA “has taken the position that any such exhibition or competition is unallowable and is not approved for player participation under the [Collective Bargaining Agreement], regardless of whether it is incorporated into a ‘clinic’ or other ‘benign-sounding activity.'”
What doesn’t make sense to me is how can the league not want the NBA brand from getting more exposure and gain more fans throughout the globe?
Either way, this will not sit well with the players and the league as there are rumblings there might be another lockout at the next bargaining table.
There has been no reports on whether Leonard has left Manila or has stayed to continue the event.
Stay tuned to Project Spurs for more details as this issue gains more traction.