The Los Angeles Lakers were fined $50,000 by the NBA for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule because of comments team president of basketball operations Magic Johnson made about Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Johnson praised Antetokounmpo for athleticism he lacked as a player, and predicted the rising star would lead the Bucks to an NBA title in his career. The quote was used by the Bucks in a social media post on Instagram.
This marks a second tampering fine the Lakers have received since Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took control in the front office. The previous instance was a result of comments Johnson made during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about pursuing Paul George as a free agent.
That earned the team a record $500,000 penalty, which Johnson offered to pay by asking Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss to deduct it from his salary.
Ahead of George and the Oklahoma City Thunder playing their first game at Staples Center this season, the Southern California native revealed the league launched an investigation into his relationship with Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw.
The two have grown close and go on offseason fishing trips together. George maintained there wasn’t any impropriety or attempted recruiting by Shaw.
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