NBA investigating contact between Ben Simmons, Lakers following Magic Johnson’s comments

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe potential for such an encounter raised eyebrows in Philadelphia. Front office executives are generally not permitted to speak about players on other team’s rosters under the NBA’s tampering rules, much less meet with them in person.The Lakers released a statement Monday afternoon with their account: That the 76ers sent an e-mail in November asking if Simmons could meet with Johnson. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka then contacted 76ers GM Elton Brand to say the meeting would only occur with the Sixers’ permission. No such meeting has been planned, the Lakers said.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.This seemed to be confirmed, in part, by Brand’s own comments to ESPN, in which he called the matter “no issue.” He acknowledged that he had been in contact with Pelinka about Simmons’ initial request.“(Simmons) has taken interest in chatting with some of the game’s all-time greats and we’re supportive,” he told ESPN. “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.”In the past few weeks, the Lakers made waves as one of the teams most interested in acquiring New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis, who is under contract with that team through 2020 but has requested a trade. Considering that context, it might seem imprudent for the Lakers to bring in last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, who has the same agent as Davis, for a meeting to discuss Johnson’s Hall of Fame career. But even if the NBA determines that the dialogue between Simmons and the Lakers doesn’t constitute tampering, there could be consequences for Johnson’s follow-up on Simmons’ game.“I love his game, I love his vision,” he said. “I love also, too, he’s very – in terms of basketball IQ – very high basketball IQ. And look at them now. The East better watch out. This is a stacked team.”Johnson has been fined before for talking about players on other teams: The NBA gave the Lakers a $50,000 fine last year for comments Johnson made about Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, predicting that he would lead the Bucks to a championship.BULLOCK THRUST INTO STARTING LINEUPPatience was for the preseason. This late in the game, it’s sink or swim.That was the attitude adopted by the Lakers for their new additions on Sunday. Reggie Bullock was immediately vaulted into the starting lineup, which he learned would be the case when he talked to Coach Luke Walton on Saturday during his first practice with the team.“I’m glad they threw me out there,” he said, “because now I got that out the way.”Bullock didn’t make much of a dent on offense, going just 1 for 5 from the field with two points. The 6-foot-7 guard, who arrived last week from the Detriot Pistons, said he’s still figuring out exactly where his shots will come from in the Lakers’ offense.He was able to make more impact defensively, where had a steal and a pair of blocked shots. Bullock said he’s still working on learning the switches in the Lakers’ defense, and hoped to improve his communication within the schemes.While teammates said it was too early to judge the impact the newcomers will make, Bullock is a little more impatient.“I just feel like I need to catch up faster,” he said. “If I wait too long, it’s gonna be the end of the season.”Walton said part of his intention on Sunday was to match Bullock up with the tall starting lineup of the 76ers, but the Lakers also wanted to get him ingrained as quickly as possible. Walton also acknowledged that the Lakers want to incorporate Rajon Rondo as more of a leading force in the second unit.That meant LeBron James was more of a point guard among the starters, and at least from an offensive standpoint, he seemed comfortable in that role.“It was a good look at a lineup that we could go to,” James said. “Not sure if that’ll be our starting lineup going forward. Obviously that’s for the coaching staff to figure out. it worked pretty well for us tonight.”HART TO SIT OUT HAWKS GAMEThe Lakers announced Monday that Josh Hart will not play against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in the team’s final game before the All-Star break.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed center_img Hart has been struggling for the last few weeks with left knee tendinitis and has missed two of the last three games. On Monday he received a platelet-rich plasma injection, a blood treatment which is used to accelerate the healing process. The Lakers are hopeful that with the injection and rest, Hart will be able to return to form after the break.Since the calendar year flipped to 2019, Hart has struggled, and his shooting numbers and production have dipped. Walton first revealed that Hart was suffering from tendinitis in late January. ATLANTA — The Lakers could be at risk of another tampering fine after team president Magic Johnson revealed Sunday that he had considered meeting with 76ers star Ben Simmons this summer.NBA spokesman Mike Bass released a statement that the league is looking into if contact between the Lakers and Simmons violated NBA rules. It was sparked by a comment by Johnson, who told reporters he had been contacted indirectly by Simmons’ camp to have a possible offseason conference.A 6-foot-10 forward who is one of the league’s best passers, the 22-year-old has often been compared to Johnson, who was the lynchpin of the “Showtime” Lakers.“I said, ‘Hey, you got to clear it with the league,’ ” Johnson recounted. “And if everybody – the Sixers sign off, we sign off, the league sign off that’s not nothing going on … fine, I will do that. But if everybody doesn’t sign off, then we can’t get together.” How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

One comment

  1. Hi,

    I wanted to see if you are interested in getting your site to the top of the search engines. I am a search engine optimizer and very good at what I do. Getting to the top of the search engines for your keywords is the very best thing you can do to increase sales dramatically.

    Let me know I’d love to help.

    Cory Day

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *