Is Magic Johnson moving on from tampering with Anthony Davis and moving onto someone new? Well, today reports are swirling from ESPN that Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is requesting the ability to have a meeting with NBA Legend and LA Lakers Team President Magic Johnson. It sounds innocent, apparently, he just requested the ability to “chat with one the All-Time greats”. But as we have learned since Magic became the Lakers team president nothing is really that innocent.
The NBA is investigating whether the Lakers made improper contact but what the hell is that really going to lead to? Are they going to fine Johnson? The dudes a billionaire he doesn’t give a shit. I suppose they could fine the Lakers but that’s almost one in the same. No real effect.
Both Simmons and Johnson are 6’9 point guards which is a rare breed in the world of the NBA so it’s almost understandable that they would want to chat. Johnson could provide some insight and pointers to assist Simmons with his game. That would be fine and dandy if Magic wasn’t the goddamn team president of the Lakers. It’s simple as that. This just feels like Magic and the Lakers are once again basically giving a middle finger to the rest of the league and basically stating that they can do whatever the fuck they want.
The Sixers GM Elton Brand has come out and said it’s not a big deal and won’t affect Simmons long term future in Philadelphia. Well, Mr. Brand if you really believe that then you might end up being a bigger disappointment as a GM than you were as a player.
Let me lay this out for you, Simmons your star point guard is repped by LeBron James’ BFF Rich Paul at Klutch Sports, he dates Kardashians, and is constantly in LA during the offseason. And now he wants to meet with Magic Johnson. I thought we would have learned from the recent Anthony Davis debacle. From my estimates, we are about 12-18 months away from Simmons trying to force a trade from Philly to the Lakers.
Here’s the thing, I don’t really give a shit what the Lakers and Magic/LeBron are trying to do. We all knew this was going to be the case when LeBron went to the Lakers. But what makes me angry is the NBA just allowing it to continue to happen and pretending like they actually have tampering rules in the NBA.
You either need to lay down the hammer when stuff like this happens or just come out and say you are not going to enforce it anymore. I’m all for player empowerment and freedom to do what they want but you have to draw the line somewhere.
If I’m Elton Brand I’m losing my shit over this. It’s great that Magic Johnson is one of the all-time greats and wants to take a kid like Simmons under his wing. But he should have thought of that before he became a president of a team.
I would like to see the NBA come down with a hard line on this one way or the other after this season. The NBA has probably done the best job of all the major sports leagues at marketing itself and improving the overall image of the league in the past 5-10 years. All that goes to waste if they don’t fix this issue and find a way to keep stars in smaller markets and create a more competitive league.
The reason people enjoy the NFL so much is because despite the success of the Patriots every year, it feels like anyone has a shot to win the title. In the NBA, it’s more like 7-8 teams that have a shot and realistically only like 3-4 If teams continue this wave of recruiting star players out of the smaller markets than they might as well cut the league in half and play a 40 game schedule. As much good as Commissioner Adam Silver has done for this league, it’s hard to imagine the previous commish David Stern would have let this fly. He knew an extremely top-heavy league was bad for business.
So, while the actions of Magic Johnson and LeBron have left a terrible taste in my mouth about this league lately, it’s not really them who we should be blaming, even if it’s easy to hate LeBron. People in nature, but especially in sports, are going to take every inch possible to gain an advatange. Unless they finally get burnt doing so, nothing will change.