Is it tampering if you say you don’t really want a player?
According to the NBA’s latest fine the answer is yes. The association dinged Warriors owner Joe Lacob $50,000 on Wednesday, for comments he made to the San Francisco Chronicle regarding Golden State’s interest in making a trade for Ben Simmons.
Here’s what Lacob said while never referencing Simmons by name, but rather as a “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia:”
“I think we are always looking at everything to see if we can improve our team. We would always look,” Lacob began.
“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.”
Apparently not mentioning a player’s name wasn’t enough to get Lacob out of the association’s crosshairs. This press release was sent less than 24 hours after:
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.
Lacob’s comments were in reference to the news that Simmons is refusing to play for the Sixers this season and will not be attending training camp. Simmons reportedly wants to be traded to one of three California teams.