Magic Johnson though his "wink, wink" comment about contacting Paul George when he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live a few months ago was funny, but the NBA isn't laughing.
The league fined the Lakers $500,000 for tampering with George while he was still under contract with the Pacers. This fine followed an independent investigation after the Pacers filed tampering chargers earlier this month. Here is the gist of the NBA's tampering rules:
While the investigation did not find that the Lakers directly came to some kind of a below-board agreement with George, it did find L.A.'s contact with PG to be in violation of the rules, specifically referencing GM Rob Pelinka's contact with George's agent and Magic's comments.
While $500K - a slap on the wrist, basically - doesn't come close to the potential $5M that teams can be fined for tampering, maybe this will at least force teams and executives to not be so open about coveting players who are under contract.