Damian Lillard Essentially Admitted To Blatant Tampering By Bucks Players During His Trade Fiasco

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It was only a matter of time before Dame and Giannis started to show signs of progress when it came to finding the right balance and making their new duo work. Sometimes all it takes it reps and a soft spot in your schedule to start building that chemistry, which is exactly what has currently happened during the Bucks' current 4 game winning streak. Not only have the opponents helped their record (CHI/TOR/CHA/DAL), but it has also really helped the Dame/Giannis duo start to look like what I'm sure the Bucks first envisioned when they initially made the massive trade

Dame has been pretty spectacular over his last 3 games getting back into game shape after his brief injury, putting up 30/4/10 on 46/41% splits. He's had at least 12 AST in 2 of those 3 games, and obviously Giannis is still Giannis so to be getting mid 50s/60 points a game from that pairing is certainly tough. With two Top 75 guys on the roster, they weren't going to struggle forever, and while that doesn't mean there aren't still questions for the Bucks to answer as the season goes on, I think it's fair to be feeling much better about this pairing than say, a week ago. With a new coach and this new system, it's perfectly fine for things to take time. It's not even Thanksgiving, let's remember that.

Now that the trade is over and everyone is sitting down and talking about it, we've also learned something else when it comes to life in the NBA.

Tampering works, and nobody gives a shit about what the penalties might be. Why do I say that? Just listen to the man himself. Dame basically confirms that the Bucks tampered like hell and guess what? It worked

Now you may be thinking, wait, Pat Connaughton is a player and players can't tamper. Technically, based on the NBA rule, that's not entirely true

Article 35A (e): Any Player who, directly or indirectly, entices, induces, persuades or attempts to entice, induce, or persuade any Player, Coach, Trainer, General Manager or any other person who is under contract to any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiates or contracts for such services shall, on being charged with such tampering, be given an opportunity to answer such charges after due notice and the Commissioner shall have the power to decide whether or not the charges have been sustained; in the event his decision is that the charges have been sustained, then the Commissioner shall have the power to suspend such Player for a definite or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $50,000, or inflict both such suspension and fine upon any such Player.

I mean, that is exactly what happened on that text chain. A little weird to say the quiet part out loud, but here's the thing. Of course this happens! Of course the Bucks players tampered! So did Jimmy Butler! So does basically every NBA player who has a relationship with a star who is unhappy! You don't think there was some tampering going on in LAC with Harden? Don't be naive. 

The way I see it, if you aren't tampering you aren't trying. If you don't like it, get better at tampering. It doesn't bother me one bit that the Bucks tampered and it worked out for them. Why? Because I 1000% want my favorite team and players to tamper until they cannot tamper any longer as well. That's life in the NBA. If you aren't recruiting you're going to get left behind because every other team/star/players is doing it. 

This would probably only bother me slightly if I was a fan of a team that got penalized for tampering by the league. Last time I checked there's been no issues with MIL and their pursuit of Dame, so that seems a little inconsistent. But again, who cares! Even with the penalties we've seen it's still true that if your tampering works it's worth whatever penalty the league throws at you. Oh so you have to cut a check and maybe lose a pick? Whatever! That's the price of doing business in the NBA in 2023 when you're trying to land a big fish.

It's also very smart by MIL to have Pat Connaughton be the one behind the tampering charge. Not just because of the prior relationship, but also because it keeps everything away from the stars. Granted there's no way the NBA does a damn thing about this because let's all be adults, but if they were at least Pat is the fall guy and not someone like Giannis. 


Get mad about this if you want, but just remember your favorite team is doing the exact same thing at all times and if it works, magically you're not going to give a shit.