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  • Let's just jump straight in with James Harden because you guys decided to find him $50,000 for violating covert protocols earlier this week.

  • And then this morning, ESPN reported, James will have to isolate for four days total, but he will be available for the Rockets next game, which is Saturday.

  • Now.

  • The four days was determined by the league's medical experts.

  • But above and beyond that, you guys could have decided to suspend him.

  • Why fine instead of suspend the president is that discipline gets ratcheted up and it's Christmas.

  • It was the first offend.

  • Frankly, to your point, the $50,000 is the limit of my authority under the collective bargaining agreement and and what would have happened?

  • I mean, in a way, he got lucky because if the game had taken place last night had scheduled and he were unavailable because of his own actions, he would've missed a game in a paycheck.

  • And so it would have in practice, you know, are ultimately have turned out to be a much larger sanction.

  • But a little bit of luck there, I'd say.

  • Also, we're just beginning these protocols and I it seemed fair in the first instance, But it's Christmas.

  • Certainly appreciate your holiday spirit, and I understand you have discretion here.

  • It's not the first time and even just the past couple weeks, though, that Harden was very visibly partying in clubs without a mask.

  • And I know the first time he hadn't reported to training camp yet, but he was supposed to have.

  • It's not the camp hadn't started.

  • Every other Rockets player had to abide by Covic protocol rules that same week.

  • Why didn't you consider James to be under those rules at that time?

  • He wasn't because just as you said, he hadn't reported to training camp yet.

  • You know, I'd only say, Rachel, I think that anyone who was in a position of meeting out discipline as I am, um, can't succumb Thio Frontier Justice.

  • I mean, I understand what Twitter would like to see happen here, but union there are rules, and my job is to follow the rules.

  • I mean, in this case, putting aside prior conduct.

  • This was, you know, this was the first violation for James under these new protocols, and as I said, it was the limit of my finding authority.

  • It didn't seem appropriate to suspend him for that act alone.

  • And as I said, had the game been played and he had, he had been out because of that conduct.

  • You know, the required quarantine, he would have missed a paycheck.

  • And so, as I said, Well, we're learning as we go and look.

  • It's a thorny, complicated situation, not just for the league office but for the Rockets themselves.

  • It's been a rocky month overall in Houston.

  • I know James has not publicly come out and said the two words trade me.

  • But regardless, I just want to know how you feel about one of your most high profile players, a guy the Rockets air paying more than half a million dollars each.

  • And every time he plays a game so publicly and repeatedly acting against the best interests of the team.

  • Of course, my reaction is guys tracks.

  • They should honor them, and to the extent that there are disputes between teams and players, they should be handled behind closed doors.

  • I mean, look, this isn't the first time you've had a star player who's expressed dissatisfaction with some aspect of his situation.

  • I mean, it's been part of this leak.

  • CIT's.

  • It's early days, but now everything gets amplified because of social media, digital media, the job that you and your colleagues do.

  • So we recognize that.

  • And it's it's not what you want to see as part of the league.

  • And you know what?

  • You hope that James will bear down and be a professional, and he'll and he'll honor, you know, to the to the tea every aspect of his contract and that.

  • But these issues need to be worked out, and I think it's now, of course, been compounded by this most recent violation.

  • So it's highly unusual time, and I think we have to take that into account.

  • But you also count on everyone settling down now, now that regular season has begun again and focusing on basketball.

  • Yeah, I mean, we didn't have those great highlights right at the top of the interview, and last night was the first full slate of games of the season.

  • It was unfortunate that on day two, basically, thunder rockets had to be postponed because the rockets didn't have the minimum eight players required to proceed.

  • Can you just take me through what Yesterday afternoon and evening were like for you as the league's medical group sorted all this out well again.

  • You know we're following, as you said, a panel of doctors and scientists.

  • And this is really there's an aspect of this that has nothing to do with discipline because, as we all know, I mean there there are violations of the rules.

  • But then there's also living life outside of a bubble that that we were in the summer.

  • And if you're living your life just like every other American, whether it's because you have Children in school partners going to their jobs or for that matter, going to the grocery store visiting relatives, there's a chance that you're going to get infected.

  • So we recognize going into the season I said it, that we knew we were gonna have cases just as baseball salt cases.

  • And the NFL is working through those cases now.

  • And so once you know, there was a a confluence of a bunch of circumstances there was.

  • This is high profile violation.

  • But then there was a Siris of incidents.

  • But the team, um, some involving violations come not and at the end of day are medical professionals have to go player by player on.

  • Look at the particular situation of each player.

  • Obviously, if someone's infected, that's a quick decision.

  • Thio, Isis and separate them.

  • But then there's the contact tracing.

  • And then there's the question of what other players or team personnel did that infected person come in contact with.

  • And that takes time.

  • And you know, when one of the real difficulties in our league, unlike the NFL of courses, were playing essentially every other day.

  • So there's not a lot of time to work through these issues.

  • So that's what yesterday was like and and also say that we're a Z I mentioned earlier.

  • We're gonna learn as we go.

  • I mean, just as you recall Rachel, having been down in the bubble, we started with one set of protocols.

  • But then we continually adjusted them as we're learning more, and I think it's gonna be the same situation here.

  • And it may even mean that with our players association as we go, all these rules have to be negotiated.

  • But we'll sit down with them and say, All right, these aspects aren't working, and I can say to a player everyone wants this to work You know, I've said before people wanna work.

  • NBA players won't work.

  • Everyone in our system, we account for tens of thousands of jobs.

  • I mean, it's not just the players and the coaches.

  • It's our broadcasting partners like yourself.

  • It's those in the arenas.

  • Even when the arenas aren't open to fans, it takes hundreds of people to stand up these arenas for every game.

  • Six arenas.

  • We started with fans in thanks for watching ESPN on YouTube for live streaming sports and premium content subscribed to ESPN plus.

Let's just jump straight in with James Harden because you guys decided to find him $50,000 for violating covert protocols earlier this week.

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Adam Silver on why the NBA didn't suspend James Harden | The Jump

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/27
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