Clippers hit with fine by NBA

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Photo of DeAndre Jordan by Claudia Gestro

Breaking news: The NBA just fined the Los Angeles Clippers for their “dirty dealing” with center DeAndre Jordan.

You might remember the little drama in early July when Jordan and the Dallas Mavericks announced the star center had verbally accepted an offer from Mark Cuban to pack his bags and move to Dallas (Jordan also has a home in Houston, his hometown). Then there were the tweets about Clippers players going over to Jordan’s house to convince him to stay in L.A. … and then just at the best moment DeAndre Jordan announced he had changed his mind and would be staying with the Clippers after all.

That was after the team offered him $87 million over four years … and a little something on the side, an “unauthorized business or investment opportunity,” specifically a [third party endorsement” deal.

But that isn’t allowed under NBA rules, mainly to keep teams from offering more to a player than their salary cap will allow. Players are free to get their own endorsement deals, but they cannot be tied to any team contracts as compensation.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was livid. He and his team had gone to great lengths to lure Jordan to Dallas, chartering yachts and private jets — and promising to make him a star of the Dallas Mavericks.

As it turns out, Jordan said he didn’t want to leave L.A. and the Clippers could be flexible enough to make room for a third star on the team.

If you watched DeAndre Jordan during the playoffs, you might have taken notice of his horribly bad free throw shooting. But the reason he went to the line so often is the other teams, the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets, needed to have Clippers head coach Doc Rivers pull Jordan out of the lineup.

They needed to remove one of the best defensive players in the NBA, a guy averaging 15 rebounds per game and who was scoring at key moments throughout the playoffs. So the Spurs and Rockets fouled him a lot.

DeAndre Jordan will be staying in Los Angeles, but the Clippers will end up paying $250 thousand dollars to the NBA for trying to circumvent the NBA rules.

The first time the Mavericks and Clippers meet this season will be October 29 here at Staples Center. That should be an interesting game.

 (L.A. Post-Examiner staff contributed to this article)