Sixers GM says he already rejected Magic Johnson-Ben Simmons meeting
There appears to be some tension developing between the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers.
On Sunday, Lakers president Magic Johnson raised some eyebrows when he said he wanted to spend time during the offseason with 76ers guard Ben Simmons — with approval from the league and the Philadelphia organization — to trade some “big guard” secrets.
Speaking pre-game in Philly, Magic Johnson reveals that Ben Simmons wants to sit down with him this summer to trade some "big guard" secrets if the Sixers, Lakers and the league office all sign off
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 10, 2019
Many noted that Johnson’s comments put the Sixers in a tough spot. Johnson put the meeting into the public domain, leaving the Sixers to either accept it and risk their star guard developing a relationship with the head of a rival organization, or reject it and potentially upset him.
On Monday, Sixers GM Elton Brand fired back, saying that Lakers GM Rob Pelinka had tried to set up a meeting during the offseason a full month ago and Philadelphia said no.
"Rob Pelinka called me and said that Ben (Simmons) wanted to talk to Hall of Famers after the season, Magic was on the list. He asked for authorization… I said no. This was over a month ago." – Elton Brand shooting down the Ben/Magic meeting
— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) February 11, 2019
If Brand is telling the truth, it means Johnson went public with a potential Simmons meeting a month after being told no privately. That doesn’t reflect very well on him and the public comments feel like an attempt to increase pressure on the 76ers to allow it when they have every right not to. It’s also a pretty bold move from a guy who has developed a reputation for tampering.
This has not been Johnson’s best week. He may want to lay low for a while.