Lakers’ Magic Johnson sends strong message to Paul George; of course that’s tampering

Magic Johnson, the Hall of Famer and recently appointed President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, made it clear to Paul George that he is desired back in L.A. Come home, Johnson essentially said.

*wink*

Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week, a show George joined in Jan. 2014, Johnson was asked about the Lakers’ future and how he might go about landing a franchise player in free agency … like Paul George.

Kimmel set it up by asking what constitutes tampering. “Like, if you’re on vacation and you run into Paul George, are you not allowed to speak to him?”

Magic responded: “No, we’re going to say hi because we know each other. You just can’t say ‘Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers.’ Even though I’m going to be winking [at him]. You know what that means, right?”

[Magic then winked several times while sporting a huge grin.]

Of course this is tampering right here, and Johnson probably doesn’t mind. He might view it as an investment. Execs are not supposed to publicly discuss other players in the league.

For these late-night shows, the host and each guest typically outline what they’ll hit on before it’s seen in front of the audience and pushed out to millions of viewers on the network.

George is fully aware of what went down. As the players, separated into three groups of fives, shot free throws to end practice Saturday afternoon, C.J. Miles could be overheard talking with George about it — and how, yeah … that’s tampering.

[Paul George reads mean tweet on Jimmy Kimmel Live]

George has two more years left under contract with the Pacers, though the final season is a player option (2018-19).

[PG hopeful to be voted on All-NBA team]

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