The twists and turns keep coming in the shocking allegations of tampering that have been placed upon the Los Angeles Lakers by the Indiana Pacers. Reportedly, the Pacers asked the NBA to investigate Los Angeles and specifically Magic Johnson for impermissible contact with forward Paul George before he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While some pointed to Magic’s comments on Jimmy Kimmel Live in April as a potential infraction, it became clear that the NBA was investigating much more.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks appeared on ESPN Los Angeles radio and said that the Pacers want the NBA to investigate a potential phone call between Magic and George:
— Allen Sliwa (@LakersTalk710) August 22, 2017
As we discussed on this week’s episode of the LN Podcast, Johnson and the Lakers would likely only be looking at a fine should Johnson’s TV appearance be the only thing that the Pacers are complaining about. However, the NBA could also potentially take future draft picks away from the Lakers or forbid them from signing George for a predetermined amount of time, both of which would be devastating for the rebuilding franchise.
Of course, we won’t know for sure whether or not there is any merit to these allegations until the NBA reports their findings. In a media statement, the Lakers did express that they are looking forward to clearing their name.
If it’s true that there is no infraction to be concerned about, then Los Angeles should be able to breathe easier when the findings are revealed. If not, then some sort of painful punishment will be inflicted upon the team, and fans will have to cross their fingers and hope it isn’t devastating to their rebuild.