Basketball

Clippers fined $50K for Rivers’ Kawhi comments

The LA Clippers were fined $50,000 for tampering by the NBA for comments head coach Doc Rivers made about Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard earlier this week.

While the league did not specify which comments violated the anti-tampering rule, Rivers compared Leonard to Michael Jordan while breaking down the Raptors matchup with the Golden State Warriors on ESPN’s NBA Finals preview show.

“He is the most like Jordan, that we’ve seen,” Rivers said after former Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson talked about Leonard on Tuesday’s preview show. “Like, there’s a lot of great players. LeBron [James] is phenomenal. KD [Kevin Durant] is phenomenal. But he is the most like him.

“Big hands. Post game. Can finish. Great leaper. Great defender. In-between game. If you beat him to the spot, bumps you off. Then you add his 3-point shooting. I never get into who’s the best player. Magic is the best player, Michael Jordan is the best player, LeBron. But it’s that same group.”

The Clippers could have $54 million in cap space to pursue free agents this summer according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. Leonard, who is originally from the Los Angeles area, will be among the Clippers’ top targets.

Before Johnson recently stepped down as president of basketball operations for the Lakers in part due to the tampering restrictions that came along with the front-office position, the former Lakers great drew a warning from the NBA after an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in which he made tongue-in-cheek, wink-wink type remarks about Paul George and the Lakers.

The Lakers were later fined $500,000 after an NBA investigation for tampering with George and another $50,000 when Johnson later praised Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.



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