In the NBA, well actually, in most professional sports, trying to get an advantage anyway possible is commonplace. During any type of free agency period, or even before it, teams will use whatever influence they have to attract the biggest players to come to their respective teams.

Whether front office personnel enlist the help of former players or currentbhhhhuu sports stars around their city, or if they even take it into their own hands and begin to “communicate” with the players themselves during the season, teams will do whatever it takes while also trying not to get caught.

 

Although this is clearly against protocol, teams do these kinds of things all the time to get the upper hand and the new look Lakers are no different.

 

When it was announced that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka would be chosen to head the Lakers rebuilding process, excitement ensued. Johnson is a hall of famer player and excellent business man who knows what it takes to build a winning product while Pelinka is a super agent (Kobe Bryant), who has been around the game and has the management experience necessary to lead the team in a new and right direction. These two big additions also come with their share of influence and power respectively, especially Johnson who has earned a certain clout around any basketball circle.

 

What benefits a franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers is the fact that their allure will always spur the interest of any NBA star to come to. No matter how bad the team may be, the notion is that they will always right the ship and become prominent again. Add to that the fact that they play in Tinseltown and you have yourself a destination franchise that will never really cease to be so in the eyes of players.

 

So with all this into consideration, reports came out last month that in pursuit of highly coveted free agent Paul George, Johnson and the Lakers organization, had been involved in possible tampering allegations. These allegations suggested that Johnson had been in constant communication with George throughout the season when he was under contract with the Indiana Pacers in hopes to lure him to potentially become a Laker. Now, we have to understand that at this point, Johnson was not a front office executive for the team. He was appointed that role around April or May. Therefore, at the time, it would technically have been legal under certain statutes.

 

(Yibada)

However, if you really look into it, it was a classic example of Lakers brass using their “influence” to lure a potential player, like many other franchises may do as well. We would be stupid to think that Johnson had no ties into the Lakers front office position, even at that time. Again, Johnson is a businessman who probably doesn’t make decisions or accept offers out of the blue. His taking control of the front office was most likely planned well beforehand and then officially executed at the season’s conclusion to prepare for the draft.

 

So, you could also look at that as tampering as he was probably in the know as to the new moves that would be made and decided to try to get a head start. Upon the NBA finding this out and accessing the situation, they tagged Johnson and the Lakers with a $500,000 tampering charge. But not only that, they are also deciding whether or not to potentially veto any move that would allow George to come to the team in the future, whether through trade or free agency. With George becoming a free agent next season, this would be a huge decision for the future of the franchise who is clearly resting its laurels on landing a big name free agent next season.

 

We will see if they choose to go that route and how that decision will come to affect the Lakers.

 

Do you think that tampering charges should be assessed more often? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.