Simmons just wanted a little bit of mentorship.
As a large point guard, Ben Simmons is a bit of an anomaly. No player understands that more than Magic Johnson, who won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. According to 76ers GM Elton Brand, Simmons was actually looking to meet with Johnson for some friendly advice on his game, but Brand refused.
"[Lakers general manager] Rob Pelinka called me and said 'Hey, we're hearing Ben wants to talk to Hall of Famers, championship-level players, and Magic is on the list. We need authorization for him to meet up.' And I said 'No.' This is over a month ago, so I said no," Brand said according to ESPN.
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Johnson who of course still works with the Lakers confirmed that Simmons wanted to speak with him but that he'd only do it if the Sixers approved.
"[Simmons] reached out to me, not to me directly, to the Lakers to find out if we can get together this summer," Johnson explained. "I said, 'Hey, you got to clear it with the league,' and if everybody -- the Sixers sign off, we sign off, the league sign off -- fine, I will do that. But if everybody doesn't sign off, then we can't get together."
While the issue has been dropped for both teams, the NBA is still investigating to see if the contact between Simmons and the Lakers broke any league rules, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.