Scott Brooks was formally introduced as head coach of the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, but the only question anyone wanted to hear asked was the one that he couldn't possibly answer.
Brooks coached the Oklahoma City Thunder for seven seasons, which obviously meant that he had built a strong relationship with Kevin Durant -- one of the league's top-five players who will just happen to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Wizards fans (and maybe even the team's ownership) are likely hoping that the hiring of Brooks could help the club's chances of landing Durant in free agency. Brooks was eventually asked about it at his introductory press conference -- "I'm surprised it took six questions" -- before successfully dodging it.
"I understand the question, but I'm excited about the group of guys we have here," Brooks said.
The NBA has strict rules for what the league refers to as tampering, which are outlined in detail in Larry Coon's CBA FAQ.
Tampering is when a player or team directly or indirectly entices, induces or persuades anybody (player, general manager, etc.) who is under contract with another team in order to negotiate for their services. The NBA may impose suspensions and/or fines up to $50,000 if tampering is discovered, however the league's practice has been to wait until a team lodges a complaint before investigating (but that's not to say they don't continue to monitor the league and won't take action independently if they discover that tampering has occurred).
The only allowed response when talking about players under contract with other teams is to decline comment.
Brooks may or may not be a key to Durant choosing to play in his native D.C. at some point in the future. But he certainly wasn't about to get in trouble for discussing it on his first day on the job.