Philadelphia 76ers general manager Elton Brand has responded to the comments Magic Johnson made about his young point guard, Ben Simmons. The Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations commented on Simmons prior to Sunday’s Lakers-Sixers game.
Johnson, who starred in the NBA for several seasons as a big point guard, revealed that Simmons was interested in working with him this offseason to learn some of his tricks. Of course, Johnson’s role within the Lakers’ organization complicates that.
“He reached out to me, not to me directly, to the Lakers, to find out if we can get together this summer,” Johnson said. “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.’
“But he wants to know how to play the position as a big guard, da, da, da, da, da da. It’s fine. I will do that.”
Brand has since responded to these comments.
The Sixers’ GM says the idea was broached about a month ago and he told Simmons he couldn’t do it.
“Rob Pelinka called me and said that Ben (Simmons) wanted to talk to Hall of Famers after the season, Magic was on the list. He asked for authorization… I said no. This was over a month ago,” Brand said.
"Rob Pelinka called me and said that Ben (Simmons) wanted to talk to Hall of Famers after the season, Magic was on the list. He asked for authorization… I said no. This was over a month ago." – Elton Brand shooting down the Ben/Magic meeting ?????
— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) February 11, 2019
Good for Elton Brand.
It’s understandable for Simmons to want to learn from one of the greatest players in NBA history, but with Johnson having an official role in the Lakers’ front office – and Simmons sharing an agent with LeBron James – it’s probably something that can’t happen.