The National Basketball Association has announced that it is imposing a $10,000 fine against Markieff Morris for releasing public statements that are deemed "detrimental" to the league. Last week, Morris sent out a tweet suggesting that he no longer wants to be part of the Phoenix Suns.
The NBA summed up its statement in a one-sentence official release which reads, "Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns has been fined $10,000 for a public statement detrimental to the NBA, the league announced today. The statement concerned Morris' desire to be traded by the Suns."
This fine was first spotted by Marc Stein of ESPN who cited sources claiming that the decision to charge Morris was indeed the result of this Twitter post as well as a lengthy interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
In early August, the Suns power forward reportedly told the publication his plans for the coming season and mentioned "One thing is for sure, I am not going to be there."
The entire ordeal began back in July during free agency, when the Phoenix Suns traded Markieff's twin Marcus to the Detroit Pistons to clear cap space in order to acquire LaMarcus Aldridge. The Morris brothers both signed extensions to remain with the Suns last fall. Marcus signed a four-year, $20 million extension while Markieff signed a four-year, $32 million contract extension.
The deal had been perceived by many as a pay-cut for Markieff, who is the more productive player between the two, statistically speaking. Apparently included in those deals was some kind of gentlemen's agreement not to separate them via trade without first securing their consensus.
However, the team decided to trade off Marcus regardless. The Phoenix Suns sent Reggie Bullock, Danny Granger, and Marcus Morris to Detroit this offseason.
The $10,000 fine is not unprecedented as this sort of punishment has been going on for years in the NBA, Stein pointed out. Since the 2005-06 season, trade demands made by players in public have been deemed by the league as "detrimental statements" to the NBA. The first to ever receive such a fine was Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, who publicly requested a trade from the Indiana Pacers.
On the other hand, players are allowed to request for trades or even levy trade demands as long as they are addressed to the team directly and not made public. Markieff Morris' decision to divulge his thoughts to his hometown paper, and following it up on Twitter, apparently crossed the line.