Clippers Hit With 50K Tampering Fine For Doc Rivers’ Kawhi Leonard Comments

Clippers' Doc Rivers Kawhi Leonard Tampering Fine

Getty Doc Rivers, head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, talks to his team.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Doc Rivers were officially handed down a $50,000 tampering fine by the NBA today for Rivers’ comments on Kawhi Leonard during ESPN’s special edition of SportsCenter. While Los Angeles teams are no stranger to tampering charges, the Clipper’s Staples Center roommate (more landlord really), the Lakers, are usually the ones involved if recent history is any indicator.

Coincidentally, the man who was reprimanded by the league for his repeated tampering was a special guest alongside Rivers during the entire segment. Even in his quasi-retirement, NBA drama can’t help but follow Lakers legend Magic Johnson wherever he goes.

Clippers’ Doc Rivers Hit With 50K Tampering Fine For Kawhi Leonard Comments

So what exactly did Rivers say that got him hit with the tampering fine? Mainly, it was a gushing comparison between impending free agent Kawhi Leonard and the legendary Michael Jordan.

The comments sound eerily similar to what Magic and the Lakers were fined for recently and many felt it was simply a matter of time before the league cracked down on Rivers and the Clippers.

Clippers vs Lakers 2019 Offseason Preview

The Clippers and Lakers both enter the 2019 offseason with loads of cap space, talented young players, and the promise of playing in one of the nation’s biggest media markets. However, despite the Clippers’ tampering fine, they seem to offer a much more stable fit for potential superstars to plant their roots.

Lacking the offseason drama that has plagued the Lakers, the Clippers have quietly built a very strong contender that is simply a major piece away from being a top contender. With almost every major player under contract for next season – except for Patrick Beverly – the Clippers have the cap space AND a pre-filled out roster, something the Lakers can’t offer.

To the Lakers’ credit, they do hold a trump card in LeBron James. A true generational superstar, the Clippers don’t really have any talent that jumps off the page at potential free agents. The Lakers also have a rich history and the opportunity to help LeBron turn around the once proud franchise is a career-defining storyline.

TLDR: The Clippers are the better team on paper with more money to spend this offseason and should be the more appealing option. However, the Lakers and their illustrious history might be enough to lure away top free agents despite their ongoing drama.

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