No tampering in Johnson-Simmons link: NBA

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The National Basketball Association (NBA) said on Tuesday it found no evidence of tampering following an investigation into remarks involving Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons and Los Angeles Lakers President Magic Johnson.

The league announced on Monday it was probing reports of possible contact between Simmons and Johnson.

Simmons had reportedly requested talks with the Lakers President, who in turn talked enthusiastically about the Sixers star’s talent.

“I love his game. I love his vision. I also love his high basketball IQ,” Johnson said of Simmons.

However, the NBA said on Tuesday Johnson’s comments did not constitute an offence of tampering.

“We have concluded that Magic Johnson’s statements regarding Ben Simmons do not constitute a tampering violation,” the league said.

“The Philadelphia 76ers initiated the contact with the Los Angeles Lakers by requesting a meeting between Johnson and Simmons.

“Both organisations 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 was fined USD50,000 for tampering last year after comments made about Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.