- The Lakers, by the way, fined 500 grand for tampering. It's the largest tampering fine in league history. Excuse me, the second largest in league history. Sam Amick, USA Today. The Jimmy Kimmel interview was irrelevant. There's no evidence the Lakers have an agreement. Rob Pelinka having communication with Paul George's agent, which is weak, because he was a former agent who took over the Lakers job. And so the next hour, he's talking to an agent.
This would not be a fine if it wasn't the Lakers. Let's be honest about pro sports. That middle small markets have a chip on their shoulder about the Yankees and the Lakers and the Dallas Cowboys and the New York teams, even though, let's be honest, in American sports in the last 10 years, a lot of the small and medium markets have done better than the major markets. New York sports are in the toilet.
Even the good Yankees are falling apart now. Jets are a mess. Knicks are a mess. Brooklyn Nets are a mask. Look in Los Angeles the last several years. Where have the Angels been? Dodgers don't win a World Series. USC football was down for a long time. I mean, you know-- I mean-- the Rams?
So I mean, you look around. Lakers are a mess last four years. Clippers under-achieved. New York and LA teams have overwhelmingly been bad, poorly run, or under-achieved the last five, six years. And so this is one of these things. They're hammering the Lakers because they're the Lakers and there's a perception problem. And the perception is, well, Magic Johnson's a star.
There's a real concern in the league that Magic Johnson-- this is a real, viable thing here-- that Magic Johnson, because he's a star and players grew up worshiping him, like Russell Westbrook and Paul George, that they all want to play for Magic Johnson. And the other owners are worried about it, and the other GMs are worried about it, and it's a real thing in the NBA-- that there's a lot of concern that Magic is so prominent and so social and so loved and so revered and so-- that he is going to be able to have his say on agents-- free agents like LeBron and Paul George.
So Magic basically has to carry the burden of being Magic Johnson-- that he's such a big star in America, people are freaking out. It would be like having, you know, Troy Aikman be the Cowboys general manager, and all of a sudden, like, six stars-- you know, all of a sudden, you started-- you know, Troy Aikman knows all these guys. He's in golf tournaments with them. He's in charities with them. He has beers with them.
And in the NBA-- unlike the NFL-- in the NBA, you get one or two players, it changes the dynamic of the league-- not just your team, but the conference and the league. So Magic Johnson's having to deal with the burden of being famous, beloved, qualified, amazing, and iconic. He's being punished for it. That's what this fine is. This is a fine for Magic being Magic. I mean, it really is. Rob Pelinka talking to an agent-- he talks to them every day. It's what all GMs do. They talk to agents all day.