Well, that's another fine mess the marketing department may have made.
According to a report Tuesday afternoon in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Hawks sent a letter to possible season-ticket buyers that mentions the possibility of the team acquiring Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Problem is: It may have violated the NBA Anti-Tampering policy since it apparently while both are pending "Free-Agents" they apparently can't be mentioned as targets by the team until after July 1st.
It's not July 1st. (at least not as of this posting date)
The paper says neither the Hawks nor the NBA will comment about it, but mentioning players by name before July 1st has been a big "No-No" in NBA circles. It's cost the Hawks and other teams a good bit of money in the past.
Read the entire AJC.com story explaining it RIGHT HERE
We kind of feel bad for the Hawks, but this is sort of funny. They have an incredible penchant for doing stuff that most teams know not to do. It doesn't appear, at least based on the report, that the team upper management was aware of this, but they should have been.
And if they didn't, well, that's a pretty big front office failure. While it would be nice to say "Marketing went rogue", the assumption should be nothing goes out without the boss's approval.
And certainly the Atlanta Spirit would operate like that...
MONDAY UPDATE: The Hawks were fined an undisclosed amount for violating the anti-tampering policy.
The NBA is saying that three teams violated the policy- just not saying who it was.
The Rockets were reportedly another team that was guilty.
In a statement to the AJC last week, Hawks president Bob Williams said, “The (first) letter that has been referred to was written by one of our season-ticket reps of his own volition. While certainly he is a member of our business staff, his specific reference clearly does not represent how our basketball operations or our business staff have consistently communicated about free agency. It is unfortunate that this mistake, by a single ticket rep with no ill intent, occurred.”
Deadspin is reporting that is was former first-round draft pick Cal Bowdler who sent the e-mail blast...