The NBA fined Warriors owner Joe Lacob $50,000 on Wednesday for violating the league's anti-tampering rule stemming from comments he made to the San Francisco Chronicle's Rusty Simmons.
While Lacob never mentioned disgruntled Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons by name, the NBA apparently thought the comments were clear enough to hit Lacob's wallet.
"In some ways, it doesn’t really fit what we’re doing," Lacob told the Chronicle, in reference to a “Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Philadelphia”
"He makes a lot of money. And, can he finish games? I don’t know. He’s very talented. The problem is: We have Draymond [Green]. Draymond and him are very similar in the sense that neither one really shoots and they do a lot of the playmaking. That’s one issue. The salary structure is another."
While Lacob didn't mention Simmons' name directly, it's very clear who the Warriors owner is referring to. Only one star player who reportedly is on the trading block has questions about both his potential fit with Draymond Green and whether or not he can be on the floor in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.
Simmons reportedly has told the 76ers he won't report to training camp and doesn't want to play another game for Philadelphia.
As Daryl Morey deals with his latest episode of "As Ben's World Turns," the Warriors are excited about the pieces they added in the offseason and Lacob believes they can re-enter the championship race if Green, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson all remain healthy once Thompson returns.
"Hopefully, this year, we’ll compete for a championship," Lacob said to The Chronicle. "I think we should. Over the next four to five years, I think we should continue that and have a second great decade in a row."