LeBron: My recruiting is vital to Lakers’ success
LeBron James says his recruiting efforts are as important to the Lakers as his play. “I think being in L.A., I don’t think it would be that hard to get guys here,” he said. “But we got to win.”
NBA GMs calling out ‘tampering’ by LeBron on AD
Some NBA GMs told ESPN that they reached out to Dell Demps to express outrage that the league won’t enforce tampering rules regarding public pursuit of the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis.
LeBron shrugs at hoopla over his Davis remarks
LeBron James rejected the notion he did anything wrong when he said it would be “amazing” to play with Anthony Davis, saying, “I would love to play with a lot of great players.”
In a memo obtained by ESPN on Friday morning, league counsel seemed to be alluding to James’ scenario, saying, “employment contracts are to be respected and conduct that interferes with contractual employment relationships is prohibited.
“This principle is particularly important in today’s media environment, where any actions or comments relating to potential player movement receive immediate and widespread public attention. Teams should be entitled to focus their efforts on the competition this season with the players they have under contract, without having to divert attention or resources to conduct or speculation regarding the potential destinations of those players in future seasons once their contracts expire.”
Several small-market general managers told ESPN last week that they reached out to Pelicans GM Dell Demps to express dismay over what they perceive as the NBA’s tacit endorsement of James’ comments, made earlier this month to ESPN, that it would be “amazing” and “incredible” if the Lakers could somehow acquire Davis, a five-time All-Star who is currently under contract with the Pelicans through the 2019-20 season.
“It’s New Orleans’ problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us,” one Eastern Conference GM told ESPN. “It’s open season on small markets and our players.”
The NBA warned teams that individual statements like James’ can be viewed in the context of organizational patterns and can result in punishment.