Heat owner Micky Arison fined $500,000 for lockout-related tweets
Miami Heat owner Micky Arison seems to be a smart businessman. He's the founder and chairman of Carnival Cruises, and Forbes estimates his total worth to be $4.2 billion. You don't get to be that successful by doing dumb things ... like tweeting about the NBA lockout when the league specifically has said not to make any comments on the topic.
But that's just what Arison did, with several lockout-related posts on his Twitter account last week. And Commissioner David Stern responded by fining Arison a reported $500,000 for the tweets.
"It was more about his timing," Stern said in an interview with the New York Post, without mentioning the amount of the fine. "We're trying very hard to get a deal done with the players, or we were, and we don't need any external distractions to that focus."
Stern added of Arison: "He believes his tweets were taken out of context and understands our concern about them. And he's very much on board with the other 29 owners about the deal that we want."
Arison's lockout-related tweets were quickly removed and he hasn't addressed the subject since.
It started when someone made a post on Arison's Twitter account, saying "Fans provide all the money you're fighting over you greedy ... pigs." Arison responded, "Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner."
Then someone else posted on Arison's account: "Know it's not ur fault at this point, it's become child's play. Grown men making stupid decisions over money." Arison replied, "Exactly."
The initial poster then responded: "Then can you bark at the other owners? This is RIDICULOUS!!!" To which Arison replied: "Now u r making some sense."
There was more, including Arison's retweeting of some other people's lockout-related comments. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, seeing that Charlotte's Michael Jordan and Washington's Ted Leonsis had already been fined for similar offenses.
Maybe Arison just needed to get some things off his chest. It's not like he can't afford it. If the going rate is $500,000 for a day's worth of Twitter outbursts, he can feel free to speak his mind some 8,400 more times before going broke.
That would keep Arison busy tweeting for the next 23 years. Hopefully the lockout doesn't last quite that long.
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: Micky Arison. Credit: Michael Cohen / Getty Images