NBA issues tampering warning amid LeBron James-Anthony Davis situation

NBA issues tampering warning amid LeBron James-Anthony Davis situation

After the New Orleans Pelicans fell to the Lakers last Friday in Los Angeles, LeBron James and Anthony Davis met for a postgame meal

Speculation has swirled to whether Davis will leave the Pelicans after next season for LA, and James didn't do anything to put a stop to it. 

Amid those events, the NBA issued a warning to all teams about the league's anti-tampering policy. In a story reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA said, "Employment contracts are to be respected and conduct that interferes with contractual employment relationships is prohibited."

The statement continued:

Teams should be entitled to focus their efforts on the competition this season with the players they have under contract, without having to divert attention or resources to conduct or speculation regarding the potential destinations of those players in future seasons once their contracts expire.

This is not the first time the Lakers have prompted a tampering issue. Last year, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was fined $500,000 for tampering with Paul George. 

Celtics fans did not have a huge stake in previous tampering instances with the Lakers, but they have a realistic chance of landing Davis via trade. 

If Davis declines a contract extension from the Pelicans this summer, New Orleans could try to trade him before losing him for nothing at the end of next season. Boston would likely have the best trade package to offer depending on who they'd be willing to part with. 

Any team trying to trade for Davis could become hesitant if he makes it clear he will sign with the Lakers next summer, so this warning is good news for the Celtics. 

The NBA can't keep the players from talking to each other, but small market teams are growing increasingly concerned and frustrated with the attitude towards their players

It's New Orleans' problem today, and a problem with a different player tomorrow for the rest of us," one Eastern Conference GM told ESPN. "It's open season on small markets and our players.

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Brad Stevens breaks Twitter silence to endorse need for change after George Floyd's death

Brad Stevens breaks Twitter silence to endorse need for change after George Floyd's death

Brad Stevens isn't very active on Twitter. In fact, his last tweet before Monday came during March Madness in 2017 when his former team, Butler University, was making its NCAA Tournament run.

Stevens broke his three-year Twitter silence Monday morning with two tweets, both of which stressed the importance of making real change to combat racial injustice in America following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.

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The first tweet from Stevens was his support of the NBA Coaches Association's statement on Floyd's death.

The second tweet was a message from Stevens regarding former President Barack Obama's article that he wrote for Medium titled, "How to Make This Moment The Turning Point For Real Change.” 

Boston Celtics players have taken an active role over the last week in calling for change and engaging in peaceful protests.

Celtics guard and Georgia native Jaylen Brown made the long drive from Boston to Atlanta to lead a peaceful protest Saturday. Celtics centers Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier, and guard Marcus Smart also joined protesters in Boston on Sunday.

The Celtics released their own statement Sunday, which included the following passage: "We stand with our players, employees, partners, and fans in being committed to championing the change we need.”

We need more Jaylen Browns and Enes Kanters in quest for positive change

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We need more Jaylen Browns and Enes Kanters in quest for positive change

Jaylen Brown made a 15-hour drive to his native Georgia and, with a Celtics cap on his head and megaphone in his hand, led a peaceful protest Saturday in Atlanta.

Fresh off his own 15-hour drive back to Boston, Enes Kanter joined protesters outside the Massachusetts State House on Sunday and, in his No. 11 Celtics gameday jersey, told a crowd that, “change cannot wait.”

Those were two powerful images. Two basketball players using their platform in hopes of combating racial injustice in a peaceful, positive way.

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What made these individual moments even more powerful was having the support of the Celtics organization behind them. As teammates Marcus Smart and Vincent Poirier joined Boston protesters on Sunday night, the Celtics released a statement noting, “We stand with our players, employees, partners, and fans in being committed to championing the change we need.”

As much as the Celtics organization is regarded for its winning tradition, being at the forefront of social change has likewise been a hallmark for the team and its players. This past weekend conjured memories of Bill Russell at the 1963 March on Washington fighting for civil rights.

In a time when many need strong, non-divisive voices from those in leadership positions, Celtics players — and the organization as a whole — answered the initial call.

Coach Brad Stevens explained the team’s approach in 2017 when Celtics players were pelted with questions in the aftermath of Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem.

"We talk about trying to use our platform to have positive discussion to talk about things like uniting,” said Stevens. “We talk all the time about, leaders unite and inspire people and misleaders divide. So, ultimately, if we can be a team that uses that in a positive way, if we can be individuals that use that in a positive way, we can create a good message that unifies, you’re doing your small part with the platform you’re given.”

The “Shut Up and Dribble” suggestion was always preposterous. NBA players have a stage to positively influence the millions that watch their game and it should be embraced when they use it in a positive manner.

This writer's two young daughters are struggling to understand the senseless death of George Floyd and the emotions that have spilled out in the aftermath. Being able to show them images of Celtics players, something they can connect to, trying to bring people together peacefully and use a horrendous situation to spur positive change makes those conversations a little easier.

We need more athletes to use their stage and amplify their voice. We need more sports teams to stand behind their players when they do such.

We need more Jaylen Browns and Enes Kanters.