Magic Johnson And Elton Brand Try To Get Stories Straight About Ben Simmons Tampering Issue

Photo: Meg Oliphant (Getty)

The Lakers issued a statement Monday evening clarifying the timeline of communication between Magic Johnson and Ben Simmons, back in November, when Simmons reached out to Magic for tips about playing in the NBA as a humongous point guard who can’t shoot. This is something I’m afraid we all have to care about, now.

This version of events, with Simmons reaching out to Magic via the 76ers, apparently does not jibe with a version given by 76ers general manager Elton Brand, during a radio appearance Monday morning. Since the NBA is reportedly investigating this sequence for signs of tampering, that discrepancy, of course, must also be reconciled out in public:

The tampering stuff is getting out of hand. The league hit Marc Lasry with a $25,000 fine Monday for giving an honest answer to a question about his Bucks showing up on a list of teams with whom Anthony Davis would consider sticking long-term. Here’s Lasry’s ultra-controversial comment, which the league evidently views as tampering:

“I saw that report, and I think it’s great,” Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry told Sporting News near the Barclays Center court after his team shredded a depleted Nets club in Brooklyn. “It’s a little bit of what we want. We want players to come and play in Milwaukee. And part of it is, when you’re winning and you’re setting a standard for excellence, people see that. People want to win.

“It doesn’t make a difference if you’re in Milwaukee, New York or LA. The whole goal is winning. So we hope it would be players like Anthony Davis and others who want to come to Milwaukee.”

So we’ve got two competing general managers frantically getting their stories straight in order to protect the Lakers from a tampering charge it turns out neither one of them wants to see, and a co-owner absorbing a fine for acknowledging a report with a perfectly benign and obvious quote. And this is two weeks after the NBA hit Anthony Davis with a $50,000 fine for self-tampering, for allowing his agent to say aloud what is in all cases leaked through channels without any punishment whatsoever. And it’s less than two months after a dumb memo went out across the league warning teams to, uhh, not let their players—all of whom are professionals and adults—talk aloud about one another.

On the one hand, tampering charges should be easy to avoid, enough that Magic deserves all the exasperation he earns each time he blathers his way into another stupid controversy. On the other hand—and this hand is much larger and stronger and is the hand of righteousness and justice—I am sick as shit of all this nonsense! No one who is “protected” by the NBA’s anti-tampering rules—small market owners and their overmatched general managers—deserves to be protected, and the thing that they are being protected from is information being exchanged for the benefit of players making employment decisions. You will note that other industries do not prohibit companies from recruiting from among their competitors! Because it’s unfair to workers in a way that absolutely fucking dwarfs however unfair it is to the Pacers that there are palm trees in Miami!

So instead of players and agents and general managers just being open and honest about what teams have to offer and where players prefer to play, we’ve got a clunky scoop-based system where intentions and interests are leaked out of one side of a player’s mouth and then denied out of the other, and general managers have to retain accurate memories of who called who and in what order, and no one can acknowledge wanting to play with anyone else, and Ben Simmons can’t ask Magic Johnson about basketball without triggering a damn ethics crisis. It’s exhausting, and it insults far more people than it protects. The NBA should just permit tampering. It would be better than this!



Source link

more recommended stories

  • Brett Anderson Had The Best Seat In The House For The Athletics’ Chaotically Beautiful Double Play

    One of the many things that.

  • Aaron Judge Becomes Another Name On A Long List Of Injured Yankees

    Photo: Julio Cortez (AP Photo) Aaron.

  • Columbus Blue Jackets Affiliate Upsets Tampa Bay Lightning Affiliate In Game 1 Of AHL Playoffs

    If you missed the chance to.

  • MLS, Which Is Definitely Not A Ponzi Scheme, Wants To Expand By Adding Three New Teams For $200 Million Each

    Photo: John Minchillo (Getty) Are you:.

  • Warren Foegele Injured TJ Oshie With A Hard Shove In The Back And Was Only Given A Two-Minute Minor Penalty

    With just over five minutes left.

  • Oakland’s Lou Trivino Continues To Do Filthy Things On The Mound

    In just his second season pitching.

  • Vote In The Name Of The Year Sweet Sixteen

    With plenty of real estate remaining.

  • Ajax Have Slain Cristiano Ronaldo, Giant Of The Champions League

    Photo: Michael Steele (Getty) For only.

  • Joel Embiid Couldn’t Keep A Straight Face While Apologizing For His Elbow On Jarrett Allen

    Photo: Chris Szagola (AP) Joel Embiid.

  • Enes Kanter Saved The Blazers From Getting Swept For A Third Straight Year

    One of the hallmarks of surprise.

  • The Refs Lost Control As The Bruins And Maple Leafs Tried To Kill Each Other

    The Bruins took Game 2 against.

  • Sharks’ Logan Couture Is Thankful He Didn’t Lose A Testicle When A Hockey Puck Hit Him In The Dick And Balls

    Down 4-3 in the second period,.

  • Ex-NFL Players Now Have To Jump Through Even More Hoops To Collect Concussion Settlement Money

    Photo: Ronald Martinez (Getty) A new.

  • Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane Didn’t Have To Embarrass Philipp Grubauer Like That

    Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane decided that.

  • Gerard Piqué Is Barcelona’s Other Superman

    Photo: Stu Forster (Getty Images) It.

  • The New York Rangers Will Have The Easiest Decision Of The NHL Draft

    Photo: Kevin Light (Getty) The New.

  • Marcell Ozuna Lands Flat On Face While Trying To Stop Homer

    In the top of the eighth.

  • Virginia’s Ugly Basketball Now Has Undeniable Results

    Photo: Streeter Lecka (Getty Images) In.

  • WrestleMania Is Too Damn Long

    There will be differing opinions on.

  • Paris Saint-Germain’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Delivers A Strong Contender For Miss Of The Season

    Cameroonian international Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has.

  • Idiot In The Ring Tackles Bret Hart During WWE Hall Of Fame Ceremony

    Tonight’s WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.

  • Three Years After Resigning Over “Inappropriate Relationship,” Tyler Summitt Hired As Former Player And Current Wife’s Assistant

    Photo: Getty This morning, the Fairborn.

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo Proved Something To Joel Embiid

    Photo: Matt Slocum (Getty) Everyone’s just.

  • Wealthy Dad Who Bought Harvard Fencing Coach’s House Insists It Had Nothing To Do With His Son Getting Into Harvard

    Peter Brand’s house in Needham, which.

  • Gregg Popovich Gets Himself Ejected Just 63 Seconds Into Spurs Game

    Screenshot: YouTube Spurs head coach and.

  • Possibly Nothing Is More Grating Than The Noise Of Paulie Malignaggi Talking Shit

    You can decide for yourself the degree.

  • The History And Future Of The Franchise Tag, The Bane Of The NFL’s Best Players

    Photo: Patrick McDermott (Getty) The top.

  • Something Weird Is Happening With UNC Women’s Basketball

    Photo: Mel Evans (AP) The University.

  • Coach K’s Trust In R.J. Barrett Ruins Duke’s Final Four Dreams

    Photo: Alex Brandon (AP Photo) With.

  • Carsen Edwards Went Full Supernova For Purdue And Somehow It Wasn’t Enough 

    Photo: Kevin C. Cox (Getty) An.

  • Andreas Athanasiou Is So Frickin’ Fast

    At this point late in the.

  • FanSided, SI’s Grubby Little Sibling, Isn’t Paying Workers The Pittances They’re Owed

    Illustration: Jim Cooke (GMG) FanSided—the scuzzy.