On Sunday, Magic Johnson brought up how Ben Simmons was interested in talking with him over the offseason about playing point guard in the NBA.

By Khadrice Rollins
February 11, 2019

Magic Johnson will not get a chance to share "big guard secrets" with 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons as long as Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand has a say.

Brand was a guest on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia to discuss the new-look 76ers and he ended up discussing a potential meeting between the Hall of Famer and the No. 1 pick from the 2016 draft.

Prior to the 76ers beating the Lakers Sunday, Johnson said Simmons reached out to the Lakers to discuss possibly meeting with Johnson to talk about playing point guard in the NBA as a bigger guy. Johnson told reporters, "but if everybody doesn't sign off we can't get together."

Brand said Los Angeles general manager Rob Pelinka reached out more than a month ago about the potential offseason meeting and he shut it down.

"Rob Pelinka called me and said that Ben wanted to talk to Hall of Famers after the season, Magic was on the list," Brand explained during the radio interview. "He asked for authorization, I said no. This was over a month ago."

Brand told ESPN that he has "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 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 seating this, end of story."

NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN and The Athletic that "The league office is looking into whether any contact took place between Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers that violated NBA rules."

Brand reportedly called Johnson on Monday afternoon, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. He reportedly apologized "for insinuating that the Lakers had called — unprompted" to set up a meeting with Simmons and Johnson, per Shelburne. 

The Lakers have already been fined twice for tampering since Johnson has come on board for discussing bringing in players who were already on teams. Although Johnson did not say there would be any conversation about Simmons coming to Los Angeles, the thought of Simmons spending time with a key executive of another team did raise eyebrows. Especially since Simmons is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who also represents LeBron James and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Lakers. Over the past week, it was speculated that Paul's client and Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis was trying to force his way out of New Orleans to join James on the Lakers.

Brand is in his first season as a general manager and Simmons is in his second NBA season. The 2017-18 Rookie of the Year is averaging 16.7 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.0 assists this season.

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