Magic Johnson is terrible on Twitter.
His tweets are simplistic nonsense. He obviously knows a lot about basketball, but instead of sharing that expertise, he sounds like a cross between a lowest-common-denominator fan and low-rent news service.
Which OK, whatever. Usually, I’d roll my eyes and move on. Thanks for the brilliant insight, Magic.
But these specific tweets are little different.
DeRozan (Raptors), Durant (Thunder) and LeBron (Cavaliers) are still under contract with other NBA teams, and they will be until July 1. Johnson is a Lakers Vice President.
That’s clearly tampering.
Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, an employee of an NBA team can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.”
Johnson often doesn’t sound like a Lakers executive, and the role is probably ceremonial. But Drake got the Raptors fined for recruiting Durant. Drake obviously isn’t integral to Toronto’s basketball operations. But he holds a title – Global Brand Ambassador – with the team. Why wouldn’t the same rule apply to Johnson?
The simple answer is because the NBA’s tampering rules are vague and arbitrarily enforced. As long as that remains the case, this could end in a number of ways – nothing the most likely, a small fine a close second.