clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Paul George says ‘comical’ Lakers tampering charges came from fishing friendship with Brian Shaw

New, comments

No fishing allowed.

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers  - Game Six Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are playing host to Paul George Wednesday night, with the Oklahoma City Thunder enjoying a two-day stay in Southern California. That’s led to the re-opening of the $500,000 wound the NBA dished out to the Lakers in relation to tampering allegations from the Indiana Pacers.

The NBA investigated the matter and, according to the official NBA press release, discovered communications between Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and George’s agent Aaron Mintz that would lead to the biggest fine in league history for tampering charges. This occurred back in August.

George spoke with media during morning shootaround in Los Angeles Wednesday and didn’t shy away from the situation. Instead, he offered up his own perspective on how it all played out, and it’s an... interesting... hole to tumble down.

As far as George sees it, there wasn’t any tampering between the sides. George’s relationship with former Pacers assistant coach, and current Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw caused Indiana to speculate there was some wrongdoing between the sides.

“They thought it was tampering, there was no tampering at all. It was kind of crazy, our relationship, mused and [Brian Shaw] was far more stronger than teams, me coming to the Lakers was. B-Shaw’s been a mentor for me, so it was kind of comical but we moved on,” George said, according to Bill Oram of the OC Register.

So, where did all this static come from? A fishing trip, of course.

“The Pacers thought that there was more in-depth of them trying to recruit me, which it wasn’t. The only thing me and B-Shaw ever spoke about was fishing, and challenge each other on fishing trips.

“B-Shaw has way, way, way better class than to try to recruit me,” George concluded.

This, of course, led to a full-blown investigation into #FishingGate from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:

As a reminder, here’s the full statement from the NBA after they fined the Lakers:

The NBA’s statement points to this having nothing to do with Shaw and George, but some sort of communication between Pelinka and George’s agent. Connecting the dots, it seems likely that the relationship between Shaw and George triggered the Pacers to request an investigation, and while there may have been no outright wrongdoing on that front, they discovered something else during their digging.

It’s also worth noting that the NBA acknowledged they had previously warned the Lakers about tampering following Magic Johnson’s infamous wink on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which attributed to the decision to finally hit LA with a tangible punishment.

Just another day covering LA.