January 14, 2009

The Darius Miles saga

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

I’ve been trying to get the Intern to write about this for a while now but I really should’ve known better. Maybe I should look at getting him retired so I can take him off of RTP’s salary cap and stay out of the luxury tax…

So, in background on the situation, Darius Miles, formerly of the Portland Trail Blazers, underwent micro-fracture surgery and was deemed — by two different doctors — medically unfit to play. The Blazer got the league to sign off on this so that he wouldn’t count against their cap and allow them to allot their budget elsewhere. Well, the funny thing about professional athletes is that they tend to be physically fit. After time and rehab, Miles worked his way back to game shape and now, if he competes in 10 games this season (he’s already played nine so far) he’ll count on Portland’s books again because, well, he’s not exactly “medically unfit to play” anymore.

That brings us about up to the present, when Portland actually sent out an email to every team in the league that threatened legal action if a team signed Miles with the intention to screw over their cap room.

Now, the part of this ESPN story that I’m most perplexed by is where it is revealed the league prevented the Blazers from claiming Miles off waivers. How can the NBA forbid a team from picking up a player?! This should be an outrage. Next thing you know, the league will force LeBron and D-Wade to sign with the Knicks in 2010 and revitalize Gotham basketball.

But really, in the professional sports world, would it not make complete sense to anybody in the league to sign Miles if it was going to put a hurt-lock on Portland? The Intern actually brought up the idea of blackmailing the Blazers by signing him and threatening to play him if they didn’t give into their wishes, whatever they may be (although I’m sure that would be the NBA’s version of extortion).

But really, none of this will matter come Friday when the Grizzlies meet the Jazz. Because then, the ten games will have elapsed and then – if Miles strings together a few  good games – we can start praising him for actually being able to come back and play from an awful injury instead of being just a thorn in he side of the Trail Blazers.

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