When Ben Simmons reached out to Magic Johnson about potentially getting together this summer, he might not have been aware he was breaking some league rules.
The Philadelphia 76ers star contacted the Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations in hopes to get connected with “some of the game’s all-time greats,” Philadelphia’s general manager Elton Brand told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Brand added Simmons had “no intention” to work out with Johnson.
“No issue,” Brand said, per Wojnarowski. “I have a great relationship with Ben and (his agent) Rich (Paul) and we expect him to be a Sixer for a long time. He has taken interest in chatting with some of the game’s all-time greats and we’re supportive.”
The Lakers issued their own statement regarding the situation.
“To clarify, last November the 76ers sent an email to the Lakers asking if Ben Simmons would be able to speak with Magic Johnson about his Hall of Fame playing career. After receiving the email request from the 76ers, Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka contacted 76ers General Manager Elton Brand and informed him that Magic could only do so if the 76ers gave him pre-written approval. That was the end of the matter.”
While the conversation may have been harmless, the NBA will hold an investigation to see whether it violated any league rules, league spokesman Mike Bass told Wojnarowski. Los Angeles was fined $500,000 for violating the anti-tampering rules and was fined $50,000 in 2018 for Johnson’s comments on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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