An investigation conducted by the NBA has determined that New York Knicks staffers conducted illegal workouts with potential draft picks and the league has levied a $200,000 fine against the team as a result. Team scout Rodney Heard was personally fined $20,000 for his involvement with the illegal workouts. How this fine will affect Heard's status with the team has not yet been made public.
According to the New York Times, team president Donnie Walsh refused to answer specific questions on the matter, saying I accept the league's decision, and I don't have any other comments on it. That's my comment.
NBA rules say teams cannot conduct private workouts with players until after the annual predraft camp. Heard held secret precamp workouts with players--one of which resulted in Indiana Pacers guard Brandon Rush suffering an ACL tear that caused him to pull out the 2007 NBA Draft, according to the Yahoo Sports report that broke the initial story over the summer--since joining the team, including prior to this year's draft.
Many unnamed NBA sources have been quoted on the story, many of whom have expressed dismay that the Knicks were only fined for this transgression and will not lose any draft picks, which would have been a much harsher penalty and sent a more powerful message. Fines are in line with similar transgressions that have happened in the past, but these unnamed front office people are of the opinion that, in this regard, the Knicks' history of holding these secret workouts should have been dealt with more strongly instead of only resulting in a penalty that they feel amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.