One word for $1 million? (UPDATE: Or maybe not)

It is the basic rule of thumb for NBA players and coaches when it comes to drawing technical fouls. If you’re going to get teed up, make sure to get your money’s worth.

A tech, after all, results in a fine of at least $2,000.

Then there’s Chad Buchanan, interim general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers, who nearly got his team fined $1 million for saying one word.


This, (via ):

Witness a recent interview with Trail Blazers acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. When it was observed that it’s too bad there is no summer league scheduled, Buchanan replied, “Yeah.”

Shortly thereafter, the league threatened Buchanan with a $1 million fine, according to one source.

While the NBA lockout is in effect, the league office has dictated that team employees refrain from publicly talking about any aspect of it. That, apparently, includes agreeing with someone else’s observation. No word yet on how high the fine might have been if Buchanan had simply nodded his head at the Portland Tribune reporter. Or winked. Or offered a pre-arranged series of elaborate hand gestures (“Three claps means, ‘Yeah.’ “)

In the end, it appears the Trail Blazers weren’t actually assessed the $1 million fine. It was just David Stern’s friendly way of reminding team employees to keep their traps shut.

All this is to explain why you won’t be hearing so much as a peep from the Spurs front office for as long as the league’s labor impasse lingers. Not exactly the most gregarious types when it comes to discussing their roster plans with the media, general manager R.C. Buford and his band of mystery men are probably happy to have Stern prohibit them from conducting press briefings for the time being.

As far as we can tell, however, TV analyst Sean Elliott is free to continue to complain about officiating while on the golf course.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Apparently, Buchanan had more to say about the loss of Summer League than just, “Yeah.”  , he is quoted three times. Buchanan’s comments are fairly innocuous, but they do amount to a bit more than one word. It appears this story, which made the Internet rounds Wednesday, might be an example of lockout boredom run amok.

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