New Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka’s contact with Paul George’s agent violated the NBA’s antitampering rule and resulted in a $500,000 fine for Los Angeles on Thursday.
The league said a law firm’s independent investigation didn’t find evidence of an agreement or an understanding that the Lakers would sign or acquire George, who was with the Indiana Pacers at the time. George later was traded to Oklahoma City.
“We respect and accept the NBA’s decision regarding this matter,” Pelinka said in a statement. “On behalf of the Los Angeles Lakers, I want to express our regret over this unfortunate incident to both our fans and the NBA.”
The league had warned the Lakers about tampering following comments by president of basketball operations Magic Johnson about George on national TV on April 20.
The league said Pelinka’s contact with George’s agent “constituted a prohibited expression of interest in the player while he was under contract.”
Attorney Adam Streisand, who represents the Lakers, called the investigation thorough and said, “We can assure the fans that the Lakers will be hyper-vigilant going forward to make sure this is never an issue again.”
The NBA’s antitampering rule prohibits teams from interfering with other teams’ contractual relationships with NBA players.
•Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and resisting arrest after an incident this month at a Los Angeles housing project.
Court documents obtained by the Associated Press say the two-time NBA All-Star possessed “more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis or both.”
•The Chicago Bulls say guard Cameron Payne will have surgery next week for a broken right foot.
Payne fractured the fifth metatarsal during a workout July 18. The team says six weeks of rest in a boot was prescribed, but a subsequent scan and examination this week revealed the foot has not healed “satisfactorily.” Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday.
Payne was acquired in the February trade that sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to Okalahoma City. He struggled for Chicago, averaging 4.9 points in 11 games.
Rossi injures leg in training
Seven-time motorcycle world champion Valentino Rossi fears he may have broken his right leg after a training accident in Urbino, Italy. Italian media reported Rossi has fractured his tibia and fibula.
Golf: Englishman Callum Shinkwin shot an opening 6-under-par 66 to take the lead at the Czech Masters near Prague.
Pontus Widegren of Sweden, South African Dylan Frittelli and Englishman James Heath are tied for second after carding 67s. A group of eight, including American Julian Suri, who won the Made in Denmark event on Sunday, is another stroke behind.
American Paul Peterson opened the defense of his title with a 3-under 69.
•Keith Mitchell took the lead with a 6-under 65 in the Web.com Tour Finals-opening Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio, four days after missing a PGA Tour card by a stroke in the Web.com Tour’s regular-season finale.
•Sean Knapp, a 55-year-old from Oakmont, Pa., won the U.S. Senior Amateur without making a birdie in a 2-and-1 victory over 66-year-old Paul Simson of Raleigh, N.C.