The NBA came down hard on the Los Angeles Lakers for violating the league's anti-tampering rule.
The league rocked the Lakers with a $500,000 fine yesterday after finding out that the team's general manager, Rob Pelinka, had contact with Paul George's agent.
According to ESPN, the NBA said Pelinka's contact with George's agent "constituted a prohibited expression of interest in the player while he was under contract" with the Indiana Pacers.
"We respect and accept the NBA's decision regarding this matter," Pelinka said in a statement, as reported by ESPN. "On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to express our regret over this unfortunate incident to both our fans and the NBA."
The Lakers' outside counsel, Adam Streisand, also vowed that the team "will be hyper-vigilant going forward to make sure this is never an issue again."
The league first warned the Lakers about tampering after the team's president, Magic Johnson, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on April 20 and said that he would wink at George if they bumped into each other.
George, who was traded from the Pacers to the Oklahoma City Thunder in June, is slated to become a free agent next summer.
Despite the tampering fine, the Lakers can make a run at the All-Star forward in addition to LeBron James, who will also be a free agent next offseason and reportedly has an interest of playing in L.A.
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