Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand on Monday afternoon called Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations, to apologize for insinuating in a radio interview that the Lakers had called, but not invited, to seek permission from Johnson sources told ESPN.
In the interview with 97.5 The Fanatic on Monday morning, Brand said, "Rob Pelinka called me to tell him that Ben wanted to speak to the Hall of Fame after the season, Magic was on the list and he asked for permission. .. I said no. . "
He did not mention in this interview that any of the Sixers, at the request of one of Simmons' brothers, had contacted Pelinka first, which had motivated his appeal to Brand.
The Lakers issued a statement on Monday saying: "Last November, the 76ers sent an email to the Lakers asking if Ben Simmons would be able to talk to Magic Johnson about his playing career in the Hall of Fame. After receiving this request by e-mail Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka contacted 76ers general manager Elton Brand and informed him that Magic could only do so if the 76ers had previously authorized him to do so. written.
Mike Bass, NBA spokesman, told ESPN on Monday: "The league office is investigating whether contacts have taken place between Ben Simmons and the Los Angeles Lakers who violate the NBA rules."
"I have a great relationship with Ben and [his agent] Rich [Paul] and we expect it to be a Sixer for a long time, "said Brand to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He is very interested in discussions with some of the biggest players in the game and we support them.
"I had a brief dialogue with Rob Pelinka, whom I have known for a long time, but nothing is planned. Our common goal is to make an effort in the playoffs. Again, we are not sweating – end of story. "
Later in the day, Brand spoke directly to Johnson to clarify the air, sources said.