The NBA fined the Lakers, owned by Jeanie Buss, $500,000 for a tampering violation committed by general manager Rob Pelinka.
Lakers president Magic Johnson volunteered to pay the penalty.
“We can’t say a lot but we will correct the situation,” Johnson said Monday. “It’s under my watch. I apologize to Jeanie, and that was the main thing. I told her she could take it out of my salary because I don’t want the Lakers to be paying that fine. … I don’t want her spending $500,000, because she didn’t do anything. That’s on me.”
Ah, to be rich.
Johnson is being a great employee (offering to pay Buss) and great boss (shielding Pelinka). Though new to running an NBA front office, this is the type of situation where Johnson’s business experience pays off. He was always going to get this right.
To be fair, Johnson played a bigger role than just overseeing Pelinka. Johnson winked at Paul George on television, enraging the Pacers and drawing a warning from the league. Without Johnson doing that, maybe Pelinka’s communication with George’s agent doesn’t prompt a fine.
But Johnson is going above and beyond here, setting the tone in a franchise that badly needed fresh thinking. We’ll whether Buss accepts his offer.