Rob Pelinka on Paul George tampering case

Rachel Hardy
September 1, 2017

The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 for violating the anti-tampering rule, the National Basketball Association announced Thursday.

From a Lakers perspective, a $500,000 fine seems to be nothing more than a slap on the wrist. George later was traded to Oklahoma City. George, who is from the Los Angeles area, had his agent convey to the Pacers in June that he preferred to play for the Lakers and that he would not return to in when his contract expired after the 2017-18 season. The fine came after an investigation by independent law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, when the Pacer filed subsequent tampering accusations.

According to the release, the fine resulted from communications by Lakers GM Rob Pelinka with George's agent.

"What constitutes tampering?" said Kimmel, who then asked if Johnson would be prohibited from having a friendly chat George, who was known at that time as being on the Lakers' radar.

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Investigators did not find evidence that George and the Lakers came to any sort of agreement for him to join the team.

The possible penalties that the team could have had handed to them was a maximum $5 million fine, loss of future draft picks, suspension of the officials involved in the tampering, and even future restrictions on acquiring George if he were to become a free agent.

The NBA is a dog-eat-dog league, and star players already leave small markets to pursue lucrative and desirable opportunities in big cities.

In showing that they are not too bent out of shape over the punishment, Lakers outside counsel Adam Streisand had this to say. In addition to taking his family and friends on a month long European vacation, Magic also gifted the crew members aboard the yacht customized Lakers jerseys.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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