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No Tampering Charges, Say Magic; No Tampering, Period, Says King

At the end of a long day of rumors and recriminations, the Orlando Magic admitted, on its own website, that it does not intend to file tampering charges against the Nets and Billy King issued a strong denial of reports that he and Mikhail Prokhorov had met with Dwight Howard, the focus of the charges.

ESPN and Sports Illustrated reported that sources had told them King and Prokhorov had secretly met Howard Thursday night in Miami to discuss the big man's desire to play with the Nets. Magic officials were quoted as saying they would file tampering charges...charges which could have resulted in huge fines, the loss of draft picks and suspensions for King and Prokhorov.

Then, late in the day, first with Magic beat writers and then in a story on the team website, CEO Alex Martins said, "`I’ve seen reports, but I have no idea if (Howard) met with them or not." He said he would investigate the reports. But King was definitive, "Contrary to published reports, the New Jersey Nets did not meet with Dwight Howard."