When Magic Johnson met with the collective media on Sunday in Philadelphia, just before he watched his Los Angeles Lakers give up 143 points to the 76ers in a 23-point loss, he had a lot to say. And, as often happens when Johnson opens his mouth in capacity as president of Lakers, his comments raised more than a few eyebrows.
Unprompted, Johnson casually mentioned that 76ers point guard Ben Simmons reached out to the Lakers to see if he could get some pointers from Johnson this summer on how to better play the point guard position as a giant human, something Johnson has a wealth of experience in. Johnson profusely stated that the Lakers, 76ers and NBA would all need to sign off on the summit in order for him to say yes, but with Johnson engaged in the midst of some heavy star-chasing, linking up with Simmons comes off as more than a little shady given the Lakers current mindset.
Making Johnsons’ revelation even stranger is the fact that the 76ers shut the Simmons-Johnson hangout down a month ago. 76ers general manager Elton Brand joined 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Monday morning to throw a gallon of water on Johnson’s smoldering campfire.
If Brand already said no to a Simmons-Johnson meeting over a month ago, why is Johnson suddenly bringing it up now? And if Johnson thought the New Orleans Pelicans didn’t negotiate “in good faith” with him about Anthony Davis after his trade request, does he think these type of stunts are going to help endear him to the rest of the NBA?
The Lakers will have ample opportunities to sign a star this summer but right now, unable to make a move in the months in between, Johnson appears to be flailing in the spotlight.