NBA sends out tampering memo


Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, right, smiles as he walks past New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

By Maddie Barrett

After Lakers forward LeBron James made public comments about how ‘amazing’ it would be to play alongside New Orleans Pelicans’ star Anthony Davis, the NBA decided they’ve had enough.

Davis has been discussed frequently in recent months due to the possibility of a contract extension. He’s eligible for a supermax contract extension following the 2018-2019 season, an extension only offered to those players under certain criteria. The player who earns this protraction must reach one of the following criteria from the NBA:

  1. Player makes one or all three all-NBA teams or is named either most valuable player or defensive player of the year of the previous season.

  2. Player has made one of three all-NBA teams or has been named most valuable player of the league or defensive player of the year in two of three prior seasons.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA sent a memo to teams warning them of the rules they hold against tampering.

In the memo obtained by ESPN Friday morning, the counsel seemed to be alluding to James’s particular situation, saying, “employment contracts are to be respected and conduct that interferes with contractual employment relationships is prohibited.”

Related: Wojarowski tweet on NBA Tampering

The NBA also warned teams that individual statements by players can be viewed in the context of organizational patterns and may be punished.

Teams should be aware that the scope of the anti-tampering rule is broad, and its application in any given case is based on all facts and circumstances,” the memo said. “Accordingly, conduct that doesn’t violate the rule in any single instance may nevertheless constitute a violation if it becomes repeated or part of a broader collection of improper actions.”

The NBA won’t punish players for individual statements made about playing with another player, but as stated in the rules, “if there are other aggravating factors — such as sustained public recruiting or evidence that the player making such a comment is coordinating with his team — then there may be a basis for a tampering violation.”

Despite the rumors, Davis will continue his tenure with the Pelicans 6:30 p.m. Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets.