After shitting the bed in the playoffs and playing a crucial role in the Philadelphia 76ers’ brutal self-destruction during the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals, you would think Ben Simmons would have aspirations to help clean up the mess he made by
refusing to shoot in the fourth quarter running it back with the franchise that drafted him and playing like a man possessed this upcoming season.
Benjamin David Simmons clearly ain’t about that reconciliation life; and in his efforts to prove that love does not conquer all, the three-time NBA All-Star has informed the 76ers that they can cook their own dinner and fuck all the way off because after blaring LL Cool J’s “Love U Better” all summer, he’s ready to move on.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
In a meeting with the 76ers last week in Los Angeles, Simmons told team co-managing partner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and coach Doc Rivers that he no longer wants to remain a Sixer, according to multiple sources.
Sources said the three-time All-Star also does not intend to report to training camp.
If this news comes as a surprise, it shouldn’t. I ain’t one to gossip, but word on the street is that the relationship between Philly and its Australian point guard has been frosty ever since their season came to its unceremonious end and 76ers head coach Doc Rivers uttered these fateful words: “I don’t know the answer to that right now.”
The question was if Simmons was qualified to be the point guard for a championship-level team.
It was fair to ask considering the fit between Simmons and superstar center Joel Embiid has been in question since the dawn of time, but the former LSU star’s play really became an issue in the postseason. In Philly’s second-round slugfest against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons was so scared to go to the free-throw line that he attempted just three—three!!!!!—shots in the fourth quarter in the entire seven-game series. That reluctance to execute includes a mind-blowing play in Game 7 where Simmons passed up a wide-open dunk with three minutes left in the game.
“Think about three months ago when the Sixers are willing to give up Ben Simmons. You are like, ‘Let’s see what we have to do to get him,’” a Western Conference executive told the Inquirer. “Now, the difference is Ben Simmons says he refuses to play for the Sixers. He wants to go to three California teams. There’s so much bad blood between him and the team.”
I think it’s safe to assume the Sacramento Kings aren’t on that list.
There were already reports that Philly was seeking a trade. But with Simmons’ own demands going public, it will be far more difficult for the team to get back comparable value in return—especially with Simmons fresh off of doing the world’s greatest Smush Parker impression in the playoffs.
All I know is that if I was Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCullum, I wouldn’t get too comfortable between now and the beginning of the upcoming season. Dame Lillard put the lean on the franchise to do better by him—or else—and a swap between McCullum and Simmons could be the cure for Portland’s perpetual malaise.