Ben Simmons: Lakers issue defiant response after NBA tampering investigation

Ben Simmons: Lakers issue defiant response after NBA tampering investigation

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons reportedly reached out to Lakers president Magic Johnson in an attempt to learn from him in the offseason.The f

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Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons reportedly reached out to Lakers president Magic Johnson in an attempt to learn from him in the offseason.

The franchise sent an email to the Lakers asking for Johnson’s approval, but the legend stated he would only meet with Simmons if he had the written consent of the 76ers.

That consent was not given, and Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand stated that he had no intention of allowing the meeting to take place.

“Rob Plink called me and said that Ben [Simmons] wanted to talk to Hall of Famers after the season,” he told reporters on Monday.

“Magic was on that list, and he asked for authorisation. I said no.”

The Lakers stood firm after news of the NBA’s investigation broke.

In a statement, they asserted that nothing had happened to break any tampering rules.

“To clarify, last November the 76ers sent an email to the Lakers asking if Ben Simmons would be able to speak with Magic Johnson about his Hall of Fame playing career,” the statement read.

“After receiving the email request from the 76ers, Lakers General Manager Rob Plink contacted 76ers General Manager Elton Brand and informed him that Magic could only do so if the 76ers gave written pre-approval.

“That was the end of the matter.”

Later on Monday, Brand spoke to ESPN to further clarify the decision, and insisted that the youngster was going nowhere.

Some have suggested that the Lakers could potentially make a trade move for the 22-year-old, who is managed by the same agent as LeBron James, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

But Brand insisted that this would not be the case.

“[There’s] no issue. I have a great relationship with Ben [Simmons] and Rich [Paul] and we expect him to be a Sixer for a long time,” he said.

“He has taken interest in chatting with some of the game’s all-time greats and we’re supportive.

“I had a brief dialogue with [Lakers general manager] Rob Pelinka, who I’ve known for a long time, but nothing is planned.

“Our collective focus is on making a post-season push.”

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