Lakers fined for Johnson's comments on Antetokounmpo

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Feb 07 2018 09:36 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $50,000 for violating anti-tampering rules, the NBA announced Tuesday.

The league's statement referred to unspecified comments by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson about Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Johnson told ESPN last week that he thinks Antetokounmpo will take the Bucks to an NBA title someday.

"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 also elaborated with an extensive scouting report on the Bucks' do-it-all forward.

"He's special," Johnson said. "A man that can handle the basketball like he can and be a great -- he's probably the greatest athlete we have in the league today. And then his understanding, his basketball IQ is off the chart.

"He not only can score for himself, but also he can pass that basketball like a point guard. So when you think about all the skills that he has, block shots, rebound, can put the ball on the floor, can score, can assist, can make the pass. We've never had anybody in the league like him."

The Lakers were fined $500,000 in August for violating anti-tampering rules after general manager Rob Pelinka made contact with pending free agent Paul George's agent that, according to the league, "constituted a prohibited expression of interest in the player while he was under contract."

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