The NBA announced on May 31, 2019, that it is fining the LA Clippers $50,000 for a violation of the league’s anti-tampering policy. This situation began over a statement made by head coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers, regarding Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard. Doc made a television appearance on ESPN’s “NBA Finals Pregame Show”, and when asked his opinion on Kawhi, he gave high praise and threw out comparisons to Michael Jordan.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was interviewed recently about the fine. He was asked how Doc should’ve responded to the question, or if he should’ve refused to comment at all, to which Silver replied “Doc’s been at this a long time, it’s not a fun part of my job ever fining anyone. I understand the competing interest of the media in hearing a coach’s view about a current NBA player, but it’s something where there’s a bright line in this league, and you’re not allowed to do it. Coaches and team executives in those positions need to say “I’m not permitted by the league to respond to that question.”
There has been a strong flow of negative feedback regarding the pettiness of the fine. Rivers was simply answering the question, but considering the Clippers are the rumored #1 landing spot for Kawhi come free agency, the fine was seen coming by some. With Magic Johnson being fined earlier this year regarding his comments made about Giannis Antetokounmpo one day leading the Bucks to a championship, I feel like the NBA knew they needed to keep a consistency with their tampering fines.
Do you believe the Clippers should’ve been fined over Doc Rivers comments? Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments below!
Featured Image – LA Clippers. Photo Credit CBS Sports Local.