In an interview with The Chronicle on Tuesday, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in reference to a “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia” while being careful not to get fined for tampering: “I think we are always looking at everything to see if we can improve our team. We would always look.”
“In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing. He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know,” Lacob said. “He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another.”
Those comments will cost Lacob.
The NBA announced today that it has fined Golden State Warriors Governor Joe Lacob $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule. The fine is in response to comments by Lacob in a September 21 news article regarding the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons.
The NBA tends to investigate tampering only when someone complains. Think 76ers president Daryl Morey might have complained about Golden State?
On one hand, it’s a little silly to fine an owner for talking about NOT wanting a player. On the other hand, Lacob publicly meddled with the status of a player contracted by another team – generally what tampering rules are designed to prohibit.
If anything, Lacob deserves to be fined for trying to be too cute. “Ben Simmons” is not Voldermort. Saying his name is not some magic trigger. Everyone knows whom Lacob meant by “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia.”