Sixers star Ben Simmons ‘likes’ fact he can now train with Magic Johnson
Johnson, 59, stepped down as Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Tuesday. It’s likely he plans to undertake a new, more player-oriented role in the aftermath of his departure. Apparently, players like Ben Simmons had plenty to do with it.
Simmons made it clear earlier this year with the Sixers who he wants career advice from, and it appears he believes Magic is somebody that can help get him to the next stage of his development.
“He reached out to me, not to me directly, to the Lakers, to find out if we can get together this summer,” said Johnson, per EJ Smith of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I said, ‘Hey, you’d have to clear it with the league. Everybody. The Sixers sign off. We sign off. The league sign off that nothing is going on.”
Though Magic assured that no funny business would take place in a meeting with Simmons – it would be strictly a former point guard-to-point guard conversation – Sixers general manager Elton Brand and other NBA officials weren’t keen on letting it happen.
But things will be different this time around.
“I love working with guys, so now this summer, I get to work with Ben Simmons with no strings and no handcuffs on me, if he wants me to work with him,” Johnson said. “I like that role better. I’m a big brother type.”
Simmons continues to improve his game, and working with Magic would certainly help him do that even more.