The Los Angeles Lakers have recently been under investigation for alleged tampering charges filed by the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers believed the Lakers had improper contact with former Pacer forward Paul George.
The NBA interviewed multiple people within the front office, including President Jeanie Buss, President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson, and General Manager Rob Pelinka and ultimately wound up fining the organization $500,000.
Now with the investigation being concluded, the Lakers have released a statement. Pelinka expressed regret over the entire ordeal via Lakers.com:
“We respect and accept the NBA’s decision regarding this matter. On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to express our regret over this unfortunate incident to both our fans and the NBA.”
Additionally the franchise’s counsel, Adam Streisand assured fans that something like this will never happen again:
“We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close – and we can assure the fans that the Lakers will be hyper-vigilant going forward to make sure this is never an issue again.”
The franchise was very fortunate in only being handed a fine as this could have been much worse for them if more evidence had been found. Losing draft picks, or being prevented from signing George in free agency were possibilities for the team.
The fine itself is the largest ever given to a team for tampering, but it is something the franchise should have no problems paying.
Nonetheless this ordeal remains a bad look for the organization as a whole, especially so early into the tenure of Magic and Pelinka. Now that it is over, the Lakers will happily move past this and get ready for the upcoming season.