The Los Angeles Lakers are involved in a tampering case that is not a tampering case at all. This is a matter of the NBA not actually understanding what tampering is. This mystery involves Jimmy Kimmel, an innocent interview, and now real evidence that the Lakers had a contract with George worked out before the fact. The Lakers were not tampering--they were doing business just like anyone else in the NBA would do.

What is tampering?

Tampering is when you directly contact a player for the purposes of pitching the team or working out a contract. The Lakers did not do that.

magic johnson answered a question on a late night TV show. He is a media personality. Listen to that again. He is a media personality. He was asked a question, we all know the answer, and the Pacers got butt hurt about it. This is what happens when a team like Indiana does nothing to build around Paul George to prevent him from leaving.

OKC is up to something

I would be willing to believe that the Thunder were involved in this because they want George to be disallowed from signing with the Lakers. They could more easily convince him to stay with them, and then they would be able to sign him themselves. It is a ridiculous thing to do knowing that every team in the NBA is doing backdoor deals. If they did not do so, how do we have all these reporters breaking news all the time?

The Lakers are not stupid

Remember when Minnesota had the illegal contract for Joe Smith, and then they lost him anyway. Plus, he was not Kevin Garnett. I would have signed Kevin Garnett to an illegal contract to keep him in Minnesota, but not Joe Smith. The Timberwolves were stupid. The Lakers are not. If they chatted, like every other team in the league does, I imagine that was it.

The Lakers have better things to do

Jeannie Buss had to sue her brothers to basically strip them of any control they had over the team. She's newly single, and she had to turn around the whole team while hiring Magic Johnson. Do we really think she has time to concoct a plot to tamper with Paul George knowing that he wants to leave Indiana?

I think not. At the worst, she had a thought about winning titles with George.

The fine

The Lakers will pay their fine, and they will move on with life. I still think they can sign Paul George when the time comes, and I know that it will be easier for them to sign him now that they have gotten all this mess out of the way. He is an LA kid who wants to be there. Let him go already so he can be a Laker.