The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule, the NBA announced on Tuesday.
The team was assessed the fine after recent comments made by Lakers president Magic Johnson regarding Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. In a recent interview with ESPN, Johnson said Antetokounmpo would one day be an NBA MVP:
“I’m just happy he’s starting in the All-Star game because he deserves that,” Johnson said. “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.”
Johnson was asked about recent comparisons between his game and that of Antetokounmpo. Johnson went on to say that he sees the comparisons given the ability Antetokounmpo has to get his teammates involved and with his basketball IQ.
The $50,000 fine is the second time the Lakers have been fined this season. The team was previously fined $500,000 in August after Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka made illegal contact with the agent for Paul George.
It appears as though the Lakers will need to be more careful when discussing players on other teams.