Sorry, Darius Miles
January 9th, 2009

Sports Illustrated: Blazers threaten to sue anyone who signs Darius Miles.

“Team Presidents and General Managers,

“The Portland Trail Blazers are aware that certain teams may be contemplating signing Darius Miles to a contract for the purpose of adversely impacting the Portland Trail Blazers Salary Cap and tax positions. Such conduct from a team would violate its fiduciary duty as an NBA joint venturer. In addition, persons or entities involved in such conduct may be individually liable to the Portland Trail Blazers for tortuously interfering with the Portland Trail Blazers’ contract rights and perspective economic opportunities.

“Please be aware that if a team engages in such conduct, the Portland Trail Blazers will take all necessary steps to safeguard its rights, including, without limitation, litigation.”

Now, I’m no lawyer, nor even a taxpaying member of the state. But if I understand anything, I understand this:

The whole concept of doctors declaring when a player’s career is over due to injury is entirely speculative. It has to be, unless Nostradamus knows how to use a stethoscope. The doctors predicted Darius’s career would be over, but it wasn’t, and you can see that it wasn’t by the fact that he’s STILL PLAYING. Therefore, Portland’s whole claim of “his career is over, can we have our money back please?” is somewhat invalidated. And all this silly posturing helps nobody.

As far I can tell, Portland has little, if any, legal footing. If Darius was out there in a wheelchair, or as a quadriplegic with a terminal case of lumbago, then they’d have a point. But he’s not. Darius is not the player that he once was, but he can take an NBA court on merit.

Caught up in all this, though, is the most important point.

Darius Miles never got much of a fair shake in Portland. The blow-ups didn’t help, but he could play, and yet he was reviled due to his perceived character and his novelty oversized contract. But while Darius may has always been hard work, we must feel for him in this situation. His comeback attempt seems genuine, and yet this entire process for him is now nothing but a mockery. All the man wants is a fair chance at regaining the lifestyle and profession that he lost through no fault of his own. And we can’t seem to allow him that without making it into a legal battle.

Posted by at 5:51 PM