It’s become somewhat of a running joke on Twitter with the Lakers tampering with big-name players. Magic Johnson received a fine for comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo and the team was fined for it’s tampering with Paul George while he was still a member of the Pacers. Now, ahead of the most important free agency in recent memory, the Lakers are reminding staff not to tamper with any players before the moratorium begins on July 1st.
Ramona Shelburne reported that the Lakers held a staff meeting and sent out memos to all staff reminding them not to tamper with free agents.
Lakers co-owner and governor Jeanie Buss called the meeting, which was led by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson.
Sources said Johnson spoke to a large group of team employees, warning them about tampering.
Other employees received written notices on the matter that referenced possible termination as punishment for anyone who does not adhere to NBA rules.
Shelburne also had a source tell her “We are under incredible scrutiny with everything, so Jeanie and Earvin had to make this crystal, crystal clear to everyone.”
It’s very obvious that all teams tamper (except for Mitch Kupchak who just cold calls players at midnight and offers them 4-year contracts), but the Lakers are the only team to have been caught twice and publically reprimanded for their tampering. All eyes are already going to be on them in free agency, with guys like Lebron James and Paul George being linked to the team, and Kawhi Leonard as a potential trade target.
Fans are hopeful that the team will be able to sign big names, and the team will do everything in their power to do that. However, they are going to be sure that no one in the front office does it illegally… at least blatantly.