We have not heard from Ben Simmons directly since the night of the Sixers' Game 7 loss to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. That’s not to say we haven’t heard a ton of what reporters are writing about what Simmons thinks — of the Sixers front office, his teammates, his head coach, just about everything but actual basketball.
These reports, which have trickled out over the last few months, have listed a handful of reasons why Simmons apparently will never spend another minute in a Sixers uniform.
Some seem like legit reason to be upset; some are an insult to the intelligence of Sixers fans everywhere.
Let’s take a look at these reported “reasons” Simmons wants out of Philadelphia, ranked by ridiculousness:
5. Attempted trade to Houston for James Harden
This I kind of get. If a team signed me to a fat extension and tried to trade me a year later, regardless of the return, I wouldn’t be very happy about it. But in fairness to the Sixers, if you think you have a shot at making a move for arguably the best scorer in the league, you’re doing the team and the fans a disservice if you don’t take that shot.
4. Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers’ comments after Game 7
Everyone was hurting after that loss. When a season with such promise ends the way that it did, people will say things they don’t mean. Worse yet, they’ll say things they really do mean. I think that’s what happened here.
But I don’t think what Embiid and Rivers said was that outlandish. No one was “thrown under the bus,” as the old saying goes. It certainly isn’t grounds to sever ties with an organization. Virtually every member of the team who spoke after the game took some blame for the season being over. Well, almost everyone.
3. Simmons ‘better off’ without Embiid
Now we’re getting into the silly portion of the program. So, the reason why Simmons doesn’t do what he needs to do offensively is because Embiid is in the way? OK. Let’s go to the numbers for this one.
Simmons 2020-21 season stats: 14.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 6.9 APG
Simmons in 2020-21 without Embiid (16 games): 15.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 6.6 APG
To blame a player who finished second in the MVP voting for your offensive shortcomings is unbelievable at best, spit-out-my-Fresca laughable at worst.
2. Sixers fans don’t like him
This one is ... wow. Fans around here can be fickle but man, they stuck with Simmons through every bit of his time in Philadelphia, through every passed-up jumper, layup, whatever. They sang his praises even as his offensive game withered. The fans stuck by him, as his lack of shooting was staring them in the face. All you need to know is that probably the loudest the Wells Fargo Center got during this past regular season were the two three-pointers he made there.
1. Simmons wants a team to build around him on offense
HAAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAOHHHHHHHMan. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I have so many questions. Where do we even start? How would that look? What sort of players complement a player that won’t assert himself on offense? What would that even look like? Does he want to run, like the 1980s Lakers? This is like a vegetarian giving a bad Yelp review to a steakhouse for its menu selections. I really hope there are more reasons this outlandish in the days and weeks to come.
I needed a good laugh/cry.