If Ben Simmons wants to learn Magic Johnson’s secrets, the 76ers guard will have to do it in secret.
Though the Lakers vice president and Hall of Fame point guard said he was open to sharing “big guard secrets” with the reigning Rookie of the Year, Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand won’t sign off on Simmons working out with Johnson this summer.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka reached out to Brand more than a month ago about the pair getting together, with the latter saying he wouldn’t allow it.
“Rob Pelinka called me and said that Ben wanted to talk to Hall of Famers after the season, Magic was on the list,” Brand said during an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. “He asked for authorization, I said no.”
Johnson said Sunday, before the 76ers beat the Lakers 143-120, that Simmons’ camp had initiated the conversation and he would be happy to oblige. Johnson had acknowledged that “if everybody doesn’t sign off we can’t get together,” and likely knew the 76ers disapproved.
The league may not be happy, either. ESPN.com reports that the league is looking into any potential violations by the Lakers in the issue. Brand tried calming the situation after his interview with 97.5.
“No issue. I have a great relationship with Ben and Rich [Paul] and we expect him to be a Sixer for a long time,” Brand told ESPN.
“[Simmons] has taken interest in chatting with some of the game’s all-time greats and we’re supportive. I had brief dialogue with Rob Pelinka, who I’ve known for a long time, but nothing is planned. Our collective focus is on making a postseason push. Again, we’re not sweating this, end of story.”
Even if the 76ers feel unease about Anthony Davis’ fellow Klutch Sports client visiting the star-seeking Lakers, Simmons won’t become a restricted free agent until summer 2020.