The league fined the Houston Rockets $150,000 for – get this – talking and tweeting.
The Rockets were, in effect, punished for excessive celebation after Dwight Howard had agreed to sign as a free agent.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted, "Welcome to Houston @DwightHoward!!! Years of work by Dwight & Rockets went into this. This team is going to be special."
Morey also went on television in Houston to confirm the good news.
The NBA says you can not comment about free agents until a moratorium period expires and deals can become official (last Wednesday).
So what if Morey did an end-zone dance after Howard finally made up his mind (a feat in itself)?
The league should have been doing cartwheels: Howard's move just turned Houston into a more attractive TV team. There's new Dwight jerseys to sell at home and in China, where he's big and Yao Ming-approved. Instead, it fined the Rockets for talking out of school.
This is akin to college's governing body suspending an athlete for posing for a frat-house calendar.
Dwight himself announced he was leaving the Lakers on Twitter and every sports Website carried the news like the Pope had stepped down. Dwight actually got scooped by the USA Today that he was becoming a Rocket man.
But Morey and the Rockets had to pretend like none of it happened.
Even though Morey admittedly spent the last two seasons positioning his club for the period when Howard became available, the Rockets get hit for talking but not tampering. I'm not saying they tampered, but the Rockets did everything but build runaway lights from Los Angeles to Houston for Dwight to follow.
Oh, and you better dare not include the names of any free agents in e-mails to your season-ticket holders like the Atlanta Hawks did.
The NBA fined the Hawks an undisclosed amount for supposedly promoting in an e-mail their chances of signing Howard and Chris Paul.
There actually was nothing factually wrong in that statement: Howard and Paul were the top free agents.
Even the 10,000 or so people who show up to watch basketball in Atlanta knew that. Does the league think that an e-mail would hoodwink customers into buying tickets? Nobody believed the Hawks had a real shot at either Paul and/or Howard.
Certainly if the Hawks had landed a star free agent, Hawks faithful could read the news on these new fangled gadgets called I-phones or see it on this outdated contraption called a television. Then they could bombard the Hawks' ticket telephone lines, where there never has been a need for call-waiting.
It's Atlanta. There's always going to be tickets. There's always going to be plenty of good sections available.
This stuff with the Rockets and the Hawks violates tampering rules?
Time for the NBA to move into this century.
The NBA also fined the Rockets last month because a story on their team-controlled Website listed would-be free agents. Again, common knowledge.
Now, how about some common sense from the league.
The Orlando Pro Summer League is light years away from the NBA. Despite the competition, it's only fair to praise Magic rookie SG Victor Oladipo's play this week because if he had bombed, the criticism would surface.
After all, he is the No. 2 pick – the Magic's highest selection since they chose Dwight Howard No. 1 overall in the 2004 draft. Oladipo will be scrutinized all season, but you have to like how he handled the pressure of playing in Orlando right out of the gate.
Oladipo should get a lot of playing time this season and has just a good a shot as any of winning Rookie of The Year.
The Magic experimented with Oladipo at point guard, looking to tap into his inner Russell Westbrook. He committed too many turnovers. Then again, Oladipo is playing with new teammates, plus he's naturally high-strung and aggressive. To that end, he's like a bigger Darrell Armstrong.
I can guarantee Magic fans one thing: He'll be as much fun to watch as Darrell.
This 'n' That
Glen "Big Baby" Davis might wind up as the Magic's unsung hero. Playing the best basketball of his career, Davis played just 34 games in 2012-13 season last season because of injuries. The club finished 20-62, good enough to land the No. 2 pick (Victor Oladipo). Big Baby missed the last 37 games with a fractured foot and recently had to undergo more surgery after a screw came loose. If Davis isn't ready for the start of the season – and, hey, take your time, Baby – the Magic could be off to an encouraging downhill start in the Andrew Wiggins Draft Derby. Wiggins is expected to be the No. 1 pick. If Davis can help corrall the No. 2 and No. 1 picks in consecutive seasons, he might earn an extension…So Kobe Bryant elected to unfollow Dwight Howard after Howard left L.A. Tweeted Kobe, "I wish d12 the best honestly. I just find it hard to follow players that wanna kick my teams ass," with the hastag, " #thatsjustme." .…Lakers PG Steve Nash summed up Dwight's L.A. "Dwightmare" best, telling ESPN LA 710: "Ultimately, I think Dwight wasn't comfortable here and didn't want to be here and I think if he didn't want to be here, there's no point for him being here." Here-here…If the Magic land Wiggins with the No. 1 pick next June, I have a sneaky suspicion the doors to summer league might swing open to the public.