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#pounditThursday, June 30, 2022

Sixers GM says he already rejected Magic Johnson-Ben Simmons meeting

Ben Simmons

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.

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.

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.


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