No Tampering Penalty For Lakers’ Comments On Simmons

The NBA has announced that it completed its investigation into possible contact between Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and Sixers star Ben Simmons and found no wrongdoing.

“We have concluded that Magic Johnson’s statements regarding Ben Simmons do not constitute a tampering violation,” the league said in its statement. “The Philadelphia 76ers initiated the contact with the Los Angeles Lakers by requesting a meeting between Johnson and Simmons. Both organizations ultimately concluded that such a meeting did not make sense at this time but in that context, Johnson’s response to a media inquiry regarding Simmons does not run afoul of league rules.”

Johnson kicked off an unusual news cycle over the weekend by revealing that Simmons had interest in meeting with him during the offseason to pick his brain about playing in the NBA as a point guard with size. While Johnson said he was open to the idea, subsequent reports indicated that both teams had decided it wouldn’t happen. Nonetheless, the league looked into the matter to see if there was communication between Lakers and the Simmons that violated anti-tampering rules.

Ramona Shelburne of and Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times painted a clearer picture of the chain of events, reporting that Simmons initially mentioned his idea to a member of the Sixers. According to Ganguli, that person was Allen Lumpkin, Philadelphia’s director of basketball administration, who reached out to Lakers GM Rob Pelinka. Pelinka, in turn, called 76ers GM Elton Brand, and both GMs decided they were uncomfortable with the idea.

Brand told ESPN that he considers the situation a non-issue, and apologized to the Lakers for insinuating during a Monday radio appearance they they reached out to the Sixers unprompted to ask about a Simmons/Johnson meeting, per Shelburne.

The Lakers were fined $500K in 2017 for tampering with Paul George, and were hit with another $50K fine last year after Johnson made comments about Giannis Antetokounmpo. On Monday, Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry was penalized $25K for publicly discussing Anthony Davis.

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26 thoughts on “No Tampering Penalty For Lakers’ Comments On Simmons

  1. Clearly Magic was just trying to be helpful. That said, this 50 year Lakers fan, whose all time favorite player is Magic, believes he’s lost his mind and needs to revert to tv work. Meticulously collecting young talent only to dump Randle, offer the Rest up to surround an aging player and then dealing Zubac for a bag of peanuts is outright lunacy.

    • imindless

      But can you read though? Clearly says sixers reached out to magic not the other way around. Just go be a clippers fan man

      • Can YOU read kid. I clearly indicated Magic was simply willing to help. Magic wasn’t tampering but the Lakers would be better off if he wasn’t making personnel decisions. Talk about mindless.

      • Lenny Bruce

        This must be a victory for you. After all, Sox crushed you then the Pats. Next up: Celts and Bruins. The good news? I’ll bet your WNBA franchise kicks butt.

  2. kenleyfornia2

    Im shocked. Magic breaths and people scream tampering. Pops can openly give trade tips to another team and no one bats an eye

    • imindless

      Lakers have a lot of haters 16 chips says a lot. Knowing this magic should stop trying to befriend everyone and chating with players this aint tv man.

  3. goldenmisfit

    The Lakers were very clear that they would only talk to Simmons with Philadelphia’s written consent there was no tampering here no matter how much the Laker haters wish there was.

  4. David D

    Of course it was tampering; isn’t Ben Simmons a client of Klutch Sports? (You know Rich Paul, Lebron et. al.)

    It seems the only folks defending Magic are Laker mark-outs!

    • bowserhound

      If your so-called colusion actually occurred, wouldn’t you think Simmons would just talk to Rich Paul, who would then speak with Magic? You know, sort of like what happened between Paul, LeBron and AD…

      That and Magic never spoke to anyone. If you read the article is clearly states Simmon’s ‘people’ called the Lakers and then Pelinka called the Sixers. But sure, TAMPERING!

      • David D

        Collusion, tampering, conflict of interest; I don’t care what you call it. It’s completely inappropriate & unprofessional. And it’s naivety to believe those ‘back channel’ conversations did not happen.

        C’mon dude.

        • So should players only talk with their teammates and any personnel only with their team? If two opposing players talked during a game, is that collusion/conflict of interest/whatever you want to call it? Ben Simmons wanted to train/talk with Magic Johnson since the two have similar basketball profiles (plus its always good to talk to veterans of the game). Magic inquired about it and both he and Elton Brand said no…plain and simple. Are we really that much of conspiracy theorists that any little interaction between players/personnel from two different teams is instantly labeled as collusion?

          • Black Ace57

            I think you aren’t being fair to the fact that they have been fined for tampering in the past and that Lebron publically called for Davis to join the Lakers earlier this year. Whether these accusation are right or not does not make you a crazy conspiracy theorist to look at a pattern of behavior and get suspicious that something is going on.

    • Your hatred for the Lakers has blinded you to such an extent that the only way you could have comprehended this article was for it to be in braille.

    • kenleyfornia2

      He is so bad that he landed Lebron for a team that couldn’t get any stars for years

      • yamsi1912

        He also drafted Lonzo and his dad. The lakers are lebron and a buncha chumps.

        • kenleyfornia2

          Lonzo is not bad. And when did his dad suit up. Only clueless people think Lavar has pull with the team

  5. Black Ace57

    I think the underlying problem here is that so many other things have happened in the past several years across the NBA as a whole that teams and their people feel that foul stuff is going on. I think this falls on the NBA and Adam Silver, not the Lakers.

    The NBA needs to bring stability back so every team feels like they are on a somewhat even playing ground and the same rules apply to all the teams. I think a good example is how the league is forcing the Pelicans to play Davis, yet when the Knicks refused to play Kanter they did nothing.

    • LordBanana

      Can we stop pretending Davis is the same player as Kanter? Davis is nearly good enough to take a team to the playoffs on his own, Kanter is a quality role player

      • Black Ace57

        I am not pretending they are the same. I am saying when small markets or large markets are treated differently or even players are treated differently, you lose stability. Instead of blaming the Pelicans for their behavior the league should change the system that causes that behavior.

        • Dude the difference is that no one, I repeat no one pays to watch the likes of Kanter, JR, Parsons… while everybody pays to watch AD, he is the show, the best player in the league, fans pay to watch him & the league is way worst without him, as simple as. That’s business, that’s entertainment pure & simple. Pels haven’t got the right to not play AD, he belongs to the fans.

          • David D

            “Best player in the league …………………. belongs to the fans”. No, on both accounts.

            What about your Suns intentionally burying Devin Booker on the bench with phantom injuries for the purpose of a high draft pick? Using your analogy, the $157 million ‘star’ certainly belongs to the fans & should be playing, no?

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