Huskies say they were surprised by NBA’s fines for alumni game
A University of Washington spokesman says the school is looking into whether it can pay the $15,000 fines handed out to at least four former Huskies who played in an alumni basketball game last week.
Seattle Times staff reporter
“From our end, we did a lot of research prior to the game and it was our understanding that we were within the guidelines of an acceptable game that NBA players could participate in,” UW spokesman Carter Henderson said. “So we were surprised when we heard about the fines.”
The game, which drew 19 former UW standouts, including several current NBA players, was not sanctioned by the league.
Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, Philadelphia 76ers forward Spencer Hawes and Memphis Grizzlies guards Quincy Pondexter and Tony Wroten Jr. were each fined by the NBA, according to Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo! Sports, who first reported the story.
A Washington official confirmed the report, but it’s unclear if Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross was fined.
Nate Robinson, who spent last season with the Chicago Bulls, was not fined by the NBA because he’s an unrestricted free agent, according to his agent.
Justin Holiday, Justin Dentmon, Brandon Roy and Will Conroy, who each had a short stint in the league last season, are also not expected to be fined because they are not currently under contract with an NBA team.
Henderson said Washington is looking into whether the NCAA will allow the school to pay the fines.
Before the game, UW coach Lorenzo Romar, a former NBA player, said he received the proper clearance from the NBA for the former UW stars in the league to compete.
But the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement allows players to compete in public offseason games only between July 1 and Sept. 15 without league approval.
Washington held its alumni events, which included a Legends Game, three-point competition and dunk contest, on June 23.
The Alumni Game attracted a sold-out crowd to Alaska Airlines Arena and was considered a smashing success.
According to the UW Ticket Office, Washington distributed 7,705 tickets and kids under 12 received free admission.
Players talked about making the game an annual event and Romar seemed to endorse the idea. The NBA fines haven’t altered those plans.
“I don’t think it would be a deterrent, but it would be something that we want to make sure we were totally in line so a situation like this doesn’t happen again,” Henderson said. “As we move forward, we want to make sure everybody is on the same page and we’re communicating.”
Romar, who helped organize the Alumni Game, declined to comment about the NBA fines.
“He just loved to be able to see those guys again,” Henderson said. “Not only that, but to see them interact with each other and the fans. I can’t speak to how much (the NBA fines) dipped into his enthusiasm about the day, but I know he thought the event was special.”
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.