Lakers fined $50k after Johnson praises Antetokounmpo

Johnson was quoted as saying.

“In his understanding of the game, his basketball IQ, his creativity of shots for his teammates. That’s where we [have the] same thing,”

“He’s special. A man that can handle the basketball like he can and be a great — he’s probably the greatest athlete we have in the league today. And then his understanding, his basketball IQ is off the chart.”

Why is it prohibited to praise your opponent? I can't find the rules relating to this.

1 Answer 1


This has to do with illegal recruiting

The league said in a statement Johnson had breached the NBA’s anti-tampering rule in remarks about Antetokounmpo made in an interview with ESPN last week.

The NBA right or wrong feels these statements are intended to influence Antetokounmpo's decision to either stay in Milwaukee or move to LA. This is what the NBA claims and if true violates the CBA(collective bargaining agreement), but I don't see anything in the quote that I think would influence him.... maybe Milwaukee complained?

  • I know this is an older answer, but some additional context relating to Magic Johnson may be useful. Beyond the Giannis tampering fine, Magic was accused of tampering with Ben Simmons, was warned (and the team was fined) for tampering with Paul George, and has been accused of tampering with Anthony Davis. So he's most likely not getting the benefit of the doubt that others may.
    – kuhl
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 20:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.