The NBA has fined the Lakers $50,000 for tampering as a result of public comments made by Magic Johnson about Milwaukee Bucks' star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
In an interview with ESPN.com, Johnson, the Lakers president of basketball operations, praised Antetokounmpo's game, saying that he'll bring "Milwaukee a championship one day."
Even though the remarks could hardly be considered recruitment, NBA rules prohibit front office executives from commenting publicly about players under contract with other teams.
The Lakers and Johnson should know these rules as well as anyone.
The team was fined $500,000 -- the largest tampering fine in NBA history -- after general manager Rob Pelinka and Paul George's agent Aaron Mintz had an improper conversation. Mintz also represents Lakers forward Julius Randle.
That fine came after the NBA warned the Lakers about this sort of behavior following Johnson's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show. When asked if he would speak to George during the offseason, Johnson said he would because the two men know one another.
"We gonna say hi because we know each other," Johnson said, jovially. "You just can't say, 'Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers, even though I'll be wink-winking, like, 'You know what that means, right?' "
The Lakers host the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
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