Most expected the cause of the $500K fine to be Magic Johnson's infamous interview with Jimmy Kimmel, during which he joked about talking to George during the offseason. As it turned out, however, the league saw that as a joke, and the true reason for the fine was Lakers GM Rob Pelinka's contact with George's agent.
Despite the fact that he wasn't technically responsible, Johnson is taking responsibility for the incident, and has even asked Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to take the 500 grand out of his salary, because as he puts it, "she didn't do anything." Via the Los Angeles Times:
"We can't say a lot but we will correct the situation," Johnson said Monday. "It's under my watch. I apologize to Jeanie, and that was the main thing. I told her she could take it out of my salary because I don't want the Lakers to be paying that fine. … I don't want her spending $500,000, because she didn't do anything. That's on me."
Oh, to have the kind of money where you just casually offer to pay a $500K fine.
But seriously, if you're the league and you fine a team half-a-million bucks and their president of basketball operations just offers to pay it like it's no big deal, perhaps it's a sign that the you need to consider another penalty other than simply fining teams for violating the tampering rules.