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Houston Rockets fined by NBA for free agency tampering

The Rockets are reportedly one of the three teams fined for tampering by the NBA. What did they do wrong?

"Sorry I couldn't hear you through my thick skull."
"Sorry I couldn't hear you through my thick skull."
Scott Halleran

According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the NBA has leveled fines for free agency tampering against the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, and an unknown third team. The memo acquired by Amick said as follows:

The conduct at issue involved statements by a team employee to the media, a team email to prospective season ticket purchasers, and articles posted online on a team website, each related to players who are currently under contract to other teams but who will become free agents this summer.

The Rockets have been running free agency preview articles on, and that reportedly was the cause of their violation. If that is the case, that is absolute lunacy. Jason Friedman's articles on free agency were well-written, detailed scouting reports of players the Rockets could target, not articles intended to convince a player to come to Houston.

The Rockets are going to be big-time players in free agency, and it's Jason's job to cover that news. If he can't discuss players that are set to be free agents, what can he talk about? The NBA is trying to improve its internet presence, and muzzling the team's beat writers is just going to do the opposite. Great job, NBA.