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Lakers News: Magic Johnson Won't Talk About Kemba Walker to Avoid Tampering

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2019

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 12: Andre Aldridge, and Magic Johnson are seen talking together during the game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Lakers on February 12, 2019 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has learned his lesson when it comes to tampering.

"You know I can't answer any question about no players," Johnson said Thursday when asked about Kemba Walker, per CarolinaBlitz. "Every time I do it, I get fined. But anybody else do it, they don't get fined." 

Carolina Blitz @KeepBlitzin

Asked Magic about Kemba and he said y’all aren’t going to catch him slipping anymore. https://t.co/sQZtIWnQbn

Johnson made his comments while in Charlotte for this weekend's All-Star festivities. Walker is an impending free agent, whom the Lakers could target when he hits the open market

Johnson was fined $50,000 for comments he made about Giannis Antetokounmpo last summer. The league also recently concluded a tampering investigation into the Lakers and Johnson after Ben Simmons attempted to set up a meeting with the Hall of Famer this summer. 

"I said, 'Hey, you got to clear it with the league,' and if everybody—the Sixers sign off, we sign off, the league signs off—fine, I will do that," Johnson told reporters. "But if everybody doesn't sign off, then we can't get together. But I love [Simmons'] game, I love his vision, I love also, too, he's very, in terms of basketball IQ, very high basketball IQ."

Anthony Davis also received a $50,000 fine for publicly demanding a trade in what has been widely perceived as a ploy to get him to the Lakers before the deadline. While that was the work of Davis and agent Rich Paul, tampering allegations have followed the Lakers throughout Johnson's tenure—dating back to his wink-wink at Paul George on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

It's clear, at this point, that Johnson is very tired of the tampering allegations that have marred his tenure.

As for the Lakers' chances to land Walker, that will likely be determined by the Lakers' pursuit of larger names and the Hornets' willingness to sign him to a max contract. 

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