The NBA announced today that it has fined the LA Clippers $50,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rule. The fine is in response to comments regarding Kawhi Leonard made by Clippers head coach Doc Rivers in ESPN’s NBA Finals preview show on Tuesday.
“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.”
Leonard has been on a tear in the 2019 playoffs, averaging 30.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 38.9 minutes per-game. He posted 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
The Clippers could have $54 million in cap space to pursue free agents this summer according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
The Clippers have sought Leonard, a Los Angeles native, as one of their top targets this summer.