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Magic Johnson chats with LeBron James’ agent and manager during Lakers-Cavaliers game (photo)


during a quarterfinal game of the Pac-12 basketball tournament at T-Mobile Arena on March 8, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bruins won 88-77.

Ethan Miller

Magic Johnson knows everyone is infatuated with LeBron James-Lakers rumors. Johnson knows the NBA has put him under tight scrutiny for tampering.

So, the Lakers president flaunted his opportunity to talk to talk to LeBron’s agent (Rich Paul) and manager (Maverick Carter) during the Lakers’ win over the Cavaliers yesterday in Los Angeles.

Joe Vardon of

Paul also represents Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, which gives Johnson leeway to talk to the agent (and might not be purely coincidental). Johnson’s excuse for talking to Carter isn’t as clear, but executives and business managers can speak without tampering.

There are plenty of times and places for Johnson to get messages to and from LeBron before free agency officially begins July 1. Courtside during a Lakers game needn’t be one.

But Johnson wants to keep the buzz going, show off his connections and maybe rub it into the league that he can’t be stopped. He accomplished all that yesterday.