Two weeks ago, the Indiana Pacers accused the Los Angeles Lakers of reaching out to Paul George about his upcoming free agency and the NBA began a formal investigation. Because George won’t be a free agent until 2018, the Lakers won’t be legally allowed to talk to George’s reps until July 1, 2018, although given his well-known affinity for L.A., it’s not altogether surprising that Lakers GM Rob Pelinka would have wanted to talk to him earlier.
The NBA announced today that the Lakers have been fined $500,000 for “violating the league’s anti-tampering rules.” They said they issued a warning after an April 20 Magic Johnson appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show in which he made eyes at George. The final straw was apparently illegal contact between Pelinka and George’s agent. Here’s the full statement:
George is, of course, a member of the Thunder now, so when Magic inevitably talks him up on SportsCenter in March 2018, a whole new team can accuse them of tampering.