Lakers Receive Another Tampering Fine From NBA

After being fined $500K for tampering with the Pacers and Paul George during the 2017 offseason, the Lakers have once again been penalized by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules. The NBA announced today that the Lakers have been fined $50K for tampering related to Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The latest fine levied upon the Lakers by the NBA comes as a result of a recent interview between ESPN’s Nick Friedell and Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson. During that discussion, Johnson raved at length about Antetokounmpo’s talent and potential, comparing The Greek Freak’s game to his own.

[RELATED: Magic Johnson offered to pay George tampering fine out of his own salary]

“He plays above the rim. I never could do that,” Johnson said of Antetokounmpo. “But in his understanding of the game, his basketball IQ, his creativity of shots for his teammates. That’s where we [have the] same thing. Can bring it down, make a pass, make a play. I’m just happy he’s starting in the All-Star game because he deserves that. And he’s going to be like an MVP, a champion, this dude he’s going to put Milwaukee on the map. And I think he’s going to bring them a championship one day.”

While Johnson appears not to have learned his lesson after the Lakers were fined $500K for tampering with George last offseason, his comments on Giannis seem pretty innocuous, which is why this penalty is a slap on the wrist compared to that initial fine. Still, it serves as another reminder to Johnson and the Lakers’ front office to watch what they say going forward as they plot their next roster moves.

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28 thoughts on “Lakers Receive Another Tampering Fine From NBA

  1. Thronson5

    He’s fined for complimenting a player? I’m confused! This makes absolutely no sense at all.

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    • hill

      It’s just Silver reminding Magic he’s an NBA owner which apparently, he forgets.

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      • Thronson5

        So a owner can’t compliment a player and basically say the Bucks got a good? Makes zero sense!!

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    • Polymath

      Magic should say LeBron is a great player, but that would be tampering, encouraging him to join the Lakers. Or he could say he is way overrated, but that would be tampering too, discouraging other teams from signing him. Lesson learned: no owner may ever comment on any player not on their team … ever!

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  2. TwinsHomer

    No mention of him potentially being a laker in his statement…? Just complementing a great player. This is pretty ridiculous lol.

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    • CursedRangers

      Agreed! I read this statement multiple times. Magic is doing nothing but complimenting him and the Bucks. Crazy he is getting fined. Don’t get it at all.

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  3. Thronson5

    The more I read about this the more absurd it seems to me. This is a joke of a reason to fine someone. I hope the Lakers fight this.

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  4. Solo Beard

    Was he asked about giannis or did magic bring him up on his own?

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    • Thronson5

      He was asked about him. He was asked if he thinks he sees similarities from him in his himself when he played.

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      • Solo Beard

        Wow. That’s not tampering that’s just his opinion on a player

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        • bennyg

          In that case, I hope Magic and the Lakers dispute it.
          Pretty sure I’ve heard MJ compliment players before…. he never got fined!

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  5. Yamsi12

    Time to fire Magic, seriously. He is to blame for the Lonzo mess.

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  6. Dicka24

    I hate the Lakers, but man that is a lame fine. He even said he thinks The Freak will bring Milwaukee a title. Nothing but a complimentary statement.

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  7. liamsfg

    If this is the reason, then I am truly confused… he’s basically saying what anybody else would say if asked about Giannis in an interview. It would be rude not to compliment his game in that situation…

    NBA anti-Magic bias might be at play here. They take exception to way he operates outside of these comments about Giannis.

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  8. camdenyards46

    This is ridiculous -in no way this could be considered tampering. He was just complementing a player and comparing him to himself

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  9. CobiEven

    I would like more clarification on exactly the rule that was broken?

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  10. Reflect

    While I (a Celtics fan) greatly enjoy seeing the Lakers experience stupid things, I have to admit, I am not seeing how this is tampering at all.

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  11. bowserhound

    It’s the dumbest rule, but it is a rule. Lame that it is being enforced in this instance. Makes the NBA look like th NFL with this petty stuff.

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  12. moazetongue

    Is magic Johnson really this stupid not to know the rules?

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