By Dylan MacKinnon
The saga continues. It feels like we can’t goa single week without hearing some new piece to the Ben Simmons story. The latest? Well his Sixers team mates wanted to go out to meet Ben Simmons in LA. Try to convince him to return to the team. But oh no. Ben was not going to have that. Because according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania Simmons told them not to bother, it would not change his mind.
Sources: Philadelphia 76ers players wanted to take a jet to Los Angeles this week to meet with Ben Simmons, but were informed not to come and that the three-time All-Star did not want to meet.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 25, 2021
Ben Simmons team mates have been defending him all summer. Several of them even went so far as to criticize the fan base for not sticking by Ben Simmons enough. Danny Green did it, saying fans need to be more loyal. Joel Embiid said the fans need to be better, and called out reporters for what he said was spreading false information about Ben Simmons.
Recently, Matisse Thybulle took his turn saying that Ben Simmons was thrown under the bus, and that more blame should be put on himself. Thybulle did something called taking accountability. Ben Simmons followed up his mistakes asking Dei Lynam about how well he defended Trae Young, and avoided her question about his poor play.
But even with all that, he couldn’t be bothered to meet with his team mates.
Charania went on to report that Ben Simmons has ‘mentally checked out’ as a member of the 76ers. Apparently even if Ben Simmons returns, the Sixers would never see the same dedicated player they once had. If what we had was dedicated Ben Simmons, I dread to see what a laid back version looks like.
Oh but that wasn’t all. Because while we were all fuming over this latest Charania report on Simmons, Brian Windhorst hit us with another update. He went on SiriusXM NBA, and reported Ben Simmons does not want to play in front of a Philly crowd ever again.
Brian Windhorst says Ben Simmons playing in front of Sixers fans is a ‘factor’ in him wanting out of Philadelphia— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 25, 2021
“He doesn’t want to be in front of those fans. …I don’t think he intends to ever show his face there again.”
(Via @SiriusXMNBA ) pic.twitter.com/Ltt0ccwARf
I get he has gotten ripped on Twitter by fans, but when has he ever been harassed by fans during a game? The Wells Fargo Center crowd has if anything, been too supportive of him. He wasn’t booed during this last playoffs run. In fact, as our own Pat Egan pointed out, fans were super supportive of him.
Just look at that viscous crowd. How dare they be super supportive of him while he struggles at the FT line? It is really mean how they loudly cheered for him when he finally hit a FT.
These little nuggets about Ben Simmons will continue to come out until he is finally traded. That could happen this week, it may not happen until the trade deadline. But until it happens, Sixers fans will have to endure these frustrating reports as the Klutch Sports PR team try to spin this in anyway possible to make their client look good. There will be some in the National scene who continue to buy the narrative of the mean Sixers fan base running Ben Simmons out of town. But we all know the truth.
The truth is this fanbase stood by Ben Simmons for 5 years of no shooting, and no offensive growth. They loudly rallied for him to be the Defensive Player of the Year over Rudy Gobert. Many went so far as to say it is okay if he does not shoot, because he does so many other things well. The fanbase did not turn on him until after game 7, where he passed up an open dunk that would have tied it. And as the Charania report shows, Ben Simmons wont even meet with his team mates. So tell me again who the problem is here.
What the Simmons defenders do not understand, is if Ben Simmons had just played poorly, but still was out there trying anything he could to win, it never would have gotten to this point. Tobias Harris played poorly in Game 7 too. We have heard very little about him. Why? Because he was still out there trying to score, and putting in that effort. The problem people had, was Ben checked out. Zero FG attempts in the 4th quarter of the last 4 games. That’s not someone doing anything they can to win. That is someone being scared because he might be fouled, and he was in the middle of the worst performance at the line in NBA history.
We will see what next weeks story out of Ben’s camp will be. All this will keep happening until he is finally traded. The latest on his trade rumors is Minnesota is very interested after firing their team president. Maybe that will go somewhere. Until then we will continue the cycle of getting angrier and angrier at every new update to this circus of a story.