The Los Angeles Lakers were fined $500,000 by the NBA for tampering with then Indiana Pacers forward Paul George.
Now, in officially responding to the Association’s findings, the Lakers have released the following statement.
“We respect and accept the NBA’s decision regarding this matter. On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to express our regret over this unfortunate incident to both our fans and the NBA,” general manager Rob Pelinka said, via the team’s official website.
In showing that they are not too bent out of shape over the punishment, Lakers outside counsel, Adam Streisand, had this to say:
“The Lakers organization is pleased that this thorough investigation has been brought to a close – and we can assure the fans that the Lakers will be hyper-vigilant going forward to make sure this is never an issue again.”
First-year Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is a former player-agent, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he might have reached out to those tasked with representing George. Then again, it’s still a violation of NBA rules.
From a Lakers perspective, a $500,000 fine seems to be nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
But considering it’s the second largest tampering fine ever in NBA history, that’s one helluva slap.