Lakers fined $50,000 for comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo
With the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaching, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly ‘recalibrating’ their focus on 2019 free agency. Since President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka took over in the middle of the 2016-17 NBA season, much of the discussion has been about the team creating the necessary cap space for two max contract players.
One of the players the Lakers are eyeing is Paul George, which resulted in a $500,000 fine by the NBA for violating their anti-tampering rule on Aug. 31. Now, nearly five months later, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reports Los Angeles has been fined again for Johnson’s recent comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo:
The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $50,000 by NBA for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule regarding the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 6, 2018
In a recent interview with Nick Friedell of ESPN, Johnson made the following comments about the Milwaukee Bucks superstar:
“Oh yeah,” Johnson told ESPN recently. “With his ball-handling skills and his passing ability. He plays above the rim I never could do that. 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.”
Unlike the George situation, the NBA’s decision to fine Johnson and the Lakers this time around is interesting. The team’s President of Basketball Operations simply complimented Antetokounmpo and believes the two-time All-Star will put the city of Milwaukee on the map.
With two tampering fines in the last five months, it will be interesting to see how Johnson and Pelinka handle the latest situation.