NEW YORK, July 13- Despite calls from Dallas owner Mark Cuban to investigate how three high-profile free agents ended up on Miami, the NBA said Monday no formal complaints have been filed with the league.NBA commissioner David Stern said LeBron James’ made for TV special, dubbed The Decision, was "ill conceived" but added he and Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all acted within their rights.
"Our players, having negotiated for the right to be free agents at some point in their career, are totally within their rights to seek employment with any other team," Stern said.
"That’s something we agreed to. That’s something we embrace. That’s our system."
Speaking from Las Vegas, where the league’s owners met Monday, Stern said he wished James had notified the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier than he did about his decision to join Miami.
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all decided last week to play together in Miami, working out six-year deals after talking each other through the free agent process.
James was condemned in his hometown of Cleveland following the decision. His jersey was burned in the streets, billboards were defaced or removed and the Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert delivered several sharp-tongued statements in which he called James a "coward" and accused him of quitting on his teammates in the "post-season".
Stern also slapped Gilbert with a 1,000 dollar fine Monday for his comments. Stern said Gilbert’s statements were "a little bit extreme."
US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson also took a dim view of Gilbert’s commments. Jackson said Gilbert’s comments show he sees James, an African-American, as a "runaway slave" and that Gilbert’s comments put the player in danger.
"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," Jackson said. "His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honoured his contract."
Said Gilbert, "I strongly disagree with Rev. Jesse Jackson’s recent comments and we are not going to engage in any related discussion on it. Going forward, we’re very excited about the Cavaliers and the positive future of our region."
The United States federal government officially abolished slavery on December 6, 1865.
Stern added his voice to the list to those who thought the James’ ESPN show was badly scripted.
"[James] was certainly entitled to [make the announcement on television]…Had he asked my advice in advance, I might have suggested that he advise Cleveland at an earlier time than apparently he had that he was leaving," Stern said. "I would have advised him not to embarked on what has become known as ‘The Decision.’ It was ill conceived, badly produced and poorly executed."