Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson is willing to pay the team’s tampering fine out of his own salary, he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers were fined $500,000 by the league for contact with Paul George’s agent while George was still under contract with the Indiana Pacers. Fines are paid by the team’s owner — in this case, the Lakers’ Jeanie Buss.
But Johnson is offering to relieve Buss of the punishment, he said.
““We can’t say a lot but we will correct the situation,” Johnson told the LA Times. “It’s under my watch. I apologize to Jeanie, and that was the main thing. I told her she could take it out of my salary because I don’t want the Lakers to be paying that fine. … I don’t want her spending $500,000, because she didn’t do anything. That’s on me.”
The league opened an investigation at the request of the Pacers. George, who had previously indicated a desire to play for the Lakers, told the Pacers he would opt out of his contract and sign elsewhere after the season.
He has since been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As for the fine, Johnson expressed regret over any missteps the franchise may have made in the George ordeal.
“We’re going to have meetings about it next week,” Johnson said. “I’m gonna always care about the Laker brand, the Laker fans, so I apologize to them as well. The main thing is we’re going to move forward. We got 95 percent everything’s going great. This is the one thing that went bad. … This is something we can correct. Adam [Silver] is a great friend of mine. I’m glad he was able to do his job. Now I’m gonna do my job.”