In what was a week filled with stories about LeBron James, the one that created the most amount of attention was his comments about superstar Anthony Davis possibly joining the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, rather than excite some over the possibility of what they could accomplish as teammates, front offices across the league were unhappy with James’ comments, citing thew NBA’s tampering rule.
The Lakers have had a history of violating the league’s tampering rules, with president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka responsible for the franchise being levied with two fines.
The second of which was relatively innocent, as Johnson made public comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo and his ability to potentially lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a championship.
Although James’ remarks didn’t garner another fine for himself or the Lakers, the NBA felt it necessary to send a memo to teams about players breaking tampering rules. And while James is never mentioned by name, it’s clear the reiteration is referring to him, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
In a memo obtained by ESPN on Friday morning, league counsel seemed to be alluding to James’ scenario, saying, “employment contracts are to be respected and conduct that interferes with contractual employment relationships is prohibited.
“This principle is particularly important in today’s media environment, where any actions or comments relating to potential player movement receive immediate and widespread public attention. Teams should be entitled to focus their efforts on the competition this season with the players they have under contract, without having to divert attention or resources to conduct or speculation regarding the potential destinations of those players in future seasons once their contracts expire.”
As of right now, there’s no specific rule barring players from making comments about other contracted players. Draymond Green has openly admitted he recruited Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors during what amounted to his final season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
When asked about his comments and whether he felt as though it warranted such a reaction, James defiantly named other players would like to have as teammates.
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