After LeBron James publicly said that it would be amazing to play alongside Anthony Davis, a lot of small market NBA team owners got mad. Many of them reached out to the New Orleans Pelicans and asked them to file a complaint about tampering, saying that if LeBron does this to them, he will do it to anyone. LeBron mocked the owners when he was interviewed later, saying that he would love to play with ... and then listed like half a dozen star players, showing that he isn't asking for anyone to join him with the Los Angeles Lakers, but is instead just making a factual statement -- it would be awesome to play with Anthony Davis.

NBA sends out a tampering warning to teams

The NBA took notice and ESPN reports that they sent out an anti-tampering memo to all NBA teams on Friday. In that message, the NBA said that anything that interferes with players under contracts to other teams is prohibited. The NBA stated that the principle of this rule is to allow teams to focus on the current season and not have to divert their attention with the media to talk about possibly losing players to other teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers.

With that said, the NBA also warned the small market teams that were getting into a tizzy about the LeBron James comments about Anthony Davis. According to the memo, the scope of anti-tampering is broad and its application depends on the circumstances of the statement.

The NBA asked for all players and teams to refrain from talking about wanting to bring in a player under contract to another team. However, there has to be evidence that the player and his team is in collusion when a player like LeBron James makes a comment before the player is punished.

LeBron James tweets out message anyway

If this happened at any other time, then no one would care. However, as LeBron James is sitting out from the Los Angeles Lakers lineup with his current groin injury, he has noticed the play of other players around the NBA. After the NBA sent out its anti-tampering memo for players to be warned about talking about players under contracts to other teams, James immediately sent out a tweet with a video of Kawhi Leonard making an amazing play and called it "nasty."

Why is this a big deal?

Kawhi Leonard is a free agent next year and is one of the Los Angeles Lakers top targets. They wanted to trade for him with the San Antonio Spurs but lost out to the Toronto Raptors. Some fans immediately spotted the timing of the tweet and joked that it was "recruitment."

The fact that LeBron James sent out the tweet about Kawhi Leonard right after the NBA sent out its anti-tampering memo is not a coincidence.