The New York Knicks drew the ire of many, including the Professional Basketball Writer’s Association, for neglecting to invite the New York Daily News to a post-draft press conference introducing R.J. Barrett. In response, the league has fined the franchise $50,000 for violating the NBA’s rules regarding equal access to media members.
While they didn’t spell it out for us, there’s no doubt it’s a reaction to the Daily News ban. The NBA clearly believes their relationship with the press is of paramount importance; while the severity of this fine is nothing more than a light slap on the wrist for a multi-billion dollar franchise, it’s a clear warning to James Dolan. Many believed it was Dolan’s dislike of the Daily News that caused the team to ban the paper from the press conference. The league is sending the longtime owner a message, one they hope will ensure good behavior towards the media.
The league hopes the Knicks will learn their lesson, but are likely prepared to hit the organization with a heavy fine the next time they pull a stunt like this.
UPDATE: The Knicks sent The Big Lead the following statement concerning the fine.
STATEMENT FROM THE NEW YORK KNICKS:
“The Knicks acknowledge that we did not comply with the NBA’s media policy, and made an error in interpreting Friday’s announcement as an invite only event. As we do throughout the year, we have and will continue to provide access to credentialed media as per the League’s policy.”