The Indiana Pacers have filed tampering charges against the Los Angeles Lakers on how they handled the Paul George situation.
Tampering claims are rarely filed and penalties are even rarer. The general consensus is tampering is common but the league is virtually powerless to stop it.
“My sense is everyone agrees that the current situation is silly,” one league executive said. “The rules are archaic and both difficult to enforce, and largely unenforced even when they aren’t as difficult to enforce.”
The risk of tampering by an actual executive is far greater than the reward.
“If a team GM were to blatantly get involved [in tampering], the downside could be enough to prevent them from working again,” one general manager said. “While I’m sure that may not stop everyone, it sure will be thought about, especially with all the risk and the likelihood of something coming out at some point.”
The most obvious example of Magic Johnson potentially tampering with George was an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“No, we can say, ‘Hi,’ because we know each other,” Johnson said, flashing his trademark smile. “I just can’t say, ‘Hey, we want you to come to the Lakers,’ even though I’m going to be wink-winking. You know what that means, right?”