The Story of Magic Johnson Being Fined for Tampering with Giannis Antetokoumpo - Fan Arch

The Story of Magic Johnson Being Fined for Tampering with Giannis Antetokoumpo

The Story of Magic Johnson Being Fined for Tampering with...

Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG

The Los Angeles Lakers were fined $50,000 by the NBA for tampering due to Magic Johnson's comments about Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. This was the second time the Lakers were fined for tampering issues. The first fine of $500,000 was imposed in August for evidence of contact between the Lakers' general manager and Paul George's agent after a previous warning about tampering. The recent fine was specifically for the comments made by Magic Johnson in an ESPN interview, where he praised Giannis Antetokounmpo and expressed his admiration for his playing style and skills.

Magic Johnson's Comments

In the ESPN interview, Magic Johnson praised Giannis Antetokounmpo, expressing his belief that Giannis would lead the Bucks to a championship and become an MVP. Johnson highlighted similarities in their playing styles and basketball IQ, stating that Giannis would "put Milwaukee on the map" and "bring them a championship one day." However, Johnson did not mention anything about Giannis playing for the Lakers.

NBA's Response

The NBA responded to Johnson's comments by imposing a $50,000 fine on the Lakers for violating the league's anti-tampering rules, which prohibit team executives from speaking publicly about a player under contract with another team. This fine came in the wake of an earlier $500,000 fine in August for similar violations. The NBA had warned the Lakers previously after Johnson's appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," where he made remarks about Paul George and the Lakers.

Magic Johnson's Reaction

After leaving his position as the Lakers' president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson spoke out about the tampering fine, calling it "silly" and "outright stupid." He expressed his frustration with the fine, stating that he was simply complimenting Giannis as well as the organization. Johnson also emphasized that he did not mention anything about Giannis potentially playing for the Lakers during his praise.

Giannis Antetokounmpo's Response

When asked about Johnson's praise and the fine imposed on the Lakers, Giannis Antetokounmpo stated that he believed Johnson's comments were just a compliment and did not view them as tampering. He expressed his support for Johnson, stating that he didn't think Magic was tampering in any way. Giannis regarded Johnson's comments as a genuine compliment towards a player and did not see any violation in them.

Impact on the Lakers

The tampering fines have highlighted the sensitivity of the NBA's anti-tampering rules and the consequences of public comments made by team executives about players under contract with other teams. The fines have also drawn attention to the Lakers' pursuit of top-tier talent and the challenges they face in navigating the league's regulations while trying to attract superstar players to the franchise.

The story of Magic Johnson being fined for tampering with Giannis Antetokounmpo sheds light on the NBA's strict anti-tampering rules and the repercussions of public comments made by team executives about players from other teams. It also underscores the impact of high-profile figures, such as Magic Johnson, in the league and the attention their statements draw. Additionally, the incident reflects the complexities and challenges faced by teams like the Lakers in their efforts to attract top talent while complying with the NBA's regulations and policies


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