Lakers issue statement on Sixers’ Ben Simmons, Magic Johnson
The NBA is investigating another tampering issue involving the Los Angeles Lakers nearly 24 hours after Sixers star Ben Simmons publicly stated that he wants to work out with the team’s President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson.
Simmons, who is technically in his second year in the league, said that he wants to learn from Johnson, arguably the best point guard in the history of the league. However, since the Lakers have been associated to tampering allegations, the NBA is now looking into this matter, especially since the All-Star guard’s agent, Rich Paul, also represents LeBron James.
The Lakers have released a statement to clear the matter.
Statement from the Lakers on the Magic Johnson/Ben Simmons intrigue: pic.twitter.com/pSiEQ0u6hD
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 11, 2019
In addition, Sixers General Manager Elton Brand also stated that they’re not having any issues with Simmons, his agent, or the Lakers.
Elton Brand tells ESPN: "No issue. I have a great relationship with Ben and 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. I had brief dialogue with Rob Pelinka…."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 11, 2019
The Lakers were accused of tampering twice in a span of two years. Before last season began, Magic appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and said he would ‘wink at Paul George’ if they ever see each other in LA.
George was about to become a free agent that time.
This resulted in Los Angeles paying a $500,000 fine.
Then just this month, the New Orleans Pelicans sent a request to the league to again, investigate the Lakers for any tampering violation after All-Star forward Anthony Davis publicly requested a trade via his agent, who is also Paul.
This time, the league found no evidence of any tampering violations from the Lakers.
Simmons is having a great year in Philly, and there’s no reason for him to leave the franchise, especially since the Sixers are expected to make a deep run in the playoffs this year.
Regardless, with the Lakers’ recent history, the league is just conducting due process regarding this matter. Los Angeles isn’t expected to be fined for this.