Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Magic Johnson pitches for LeBron, Durant to Lakers (uh, tampering?)

I don't claim to know or understand every aspect of the NBA's tampering rules. But Magic Johnson, the former Los Angeles Lakers' great, is a vice president for the organization and I'm quite certain has just violated about 157 points of the league's tampering policy.

Submitted as evidence to the court is this series of Tweets:

If the NBA doesn't fine Johnson, something is wrong.

It's worth noting that Johnson used to have a minority ownership stake in the Lakers. But when he sold that stake in 2010, he remained as an unpaid executive. It's basically a figurehead position.

Clich here for a rundown of the Lakers' front office, via

Here's what appears at the top of page 6 on the team's media guide:


Majority Owner Buss Family Trusts

Co-Owner Philip F. Anschutz

Co-Owner Edward P. Roski, Jr.

Co-Owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong

Director Dan Beckerman


President / Governor Jeanie Buss

Executive Vice President, Director Francis R. Mariani

Executive Vice President, Corporate Development Johnny Buss

Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations / Alternate Governor Jim Buss

Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs / Secretary Jim Perzik

General Counsel Dan Grigsby

Senior Vice President, Finance, CFO Joe McCormack

COO / SVP, Business Operations / CMO / Alternate Governor Tim Harris

Vice President Earvin Johnson

But to suggest that it's allowable for anybody whose name is on a staff directory for one franchise to openly talk about acquiring a player from another franchise would be silly, whether he's being paid or not.

Agree or disagree?

For what it's worth, the Hawks have been fined twice for tampering in recent years, in both cases LeBron James was central to the violation: In 2013 for a letter to prospective season ticket holders that mentioned both James and Chris Paul,   and in 2010 for comments  then co-owner Michael Gearon made about his willingness to give James a "max contract."

Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.