Lakers Fined $50K for Magic Johnson’s Commentary on Giannis Antetokounmpo
Second fine within six months for tampering.
The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly been fined $50 thousand dollars for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules with Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. The fine comes from recent comments made in a media interview by Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson about Milwaukee’s 23-year-old All-Star forward. While the NBA has yet to specify which media interview, Johnson recently made the following comments about Giannis to ESPN:
“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.”
“He’s special. A man that can handle the basketball like he can and be a great — he’s probably the greatest athlete we have in the league today. And then his understanding, his basketball IQ is off the chart. He not only can score for himself, but also he can pass that basketball like a point guard. So when you think about all the skills that he has, block shots, rebound, can put the ball on the floor, can score, can assist, can make the pass. We’ve never had anybody in the league like him. And also too, he’s like the number one — he’s right up with LeBron, with KD and Steph [Curry] as the entertainer. He’s an entertainer so people will go see him.”
Back in August, the Lakers received a $500 thousand dollar fine after the NBA ruled that evidence showed general manager Rob Pelinka had made inappropriate contact with Paul George’s agent.
This current fine, is based on a less obvious detail of the anti-tampering rule; which states that the only allowed response for general managers and team personnel when discussing players under contract with another team is to decline comment.