Despite an IMDB entry starring alongside Scarlett Johansson and uh, Matthew Lillard in one of the decade’s top SAT-theft comedies, Darius Miles’ hoops career is in a state of flux today, as the Oregonian’s Joe Freeman explains.
The Blazers waived Miles, who had microfracture surgery on his right knee in November 2006, after an independent doctor ruled in April of last year that his injury was career-ending — a medical ruling that benefited the Blazers’ salary cap.
The Blazers are responsible for the remaining $18 million of his six-year, $48 million contract, but his annual $9 million salary does not count against their salary cap because his injury was deemed career-ending. The caveat is that if Miles returns to the NBA and plays in 10 games in one season during either of the next two seasons, his salary returns to the Blazers’ books.
If Miles plays in two more games this season, his $9 million salary would return to the Blazers’ salary cap and push them over the luxury tax threshold this season, costing owner Paul Allen millions of dollars.
Hence, the bizarre letter from Blazers team prez Larry Fitzgerald threatening legal action against the NBA’s other 29 clubs if one were to sign Miles for the express purpose of fucking with Portland’s salary cap. As opposed to y’know, signing Miles because he can still play basketball. For the first, and perhaps last time, here’s a quote from Cavs / Quicken Loans creep Dan Gilbert on the subject (taken from Yahoo Sports) :
œI fully understand the frustration you and your team™s ownership must be feeling in regards to this situation, but a preemptive threat of ˜litigation™ directed at all of your partners through a group email does not sit well with me and seems to be incongruent with the spirit of keeping a ˜fiduciary duty™ and good ˜partner-like duty™ to your ˜NBA joint venturers.™
œI would think there has got to be a better tactic than this one.