Ben Simmons has stated over and over he won’t play for the Sixers again, but the biggest issue is his contract, which is a robust five years and $170 million. That and the hefty haul Philly’s requesting in a trade for the former No. 1 overall pick, has made it difficult to move the disgruntled star.
Philly is asking too much for Ben Simmons, and Ben Simmons apparently just woke up and is not willing to stomach losing $245K per game.
Let's move it along here and stop overanalyzing things.
— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) October 11, 2021
Simmons is represented by Klutch Sports and NBA super agent Rich Paul. Yes, the same “RP” who also represents LeBron James and is currently dating superstar singer Adele.
According to Yardbarker, “Ben Simmons spoke with Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and president of basketball operations Daryl Morey this week for the first time all offseason. Prior to that, the only communication Simmons had with the team was through his agent, Rich Paul. As you might expect, some of those conversations did not go smoothly.”
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report published a story on the current relationship between Simmons and the 76ers and just how long they’ve been at odds.
According to Fischer, things got intense in a meeting with Simmons, Rivers and Morey this past summer at Paul’s residence. Rivers yelled and cursed at Paul in regards to Simmons’ signed contract with the team, which states he needs to report to them.
“It’s in your ‘BLEEPING’ contract,” Rivers reportedly said.
Simmons unexpectedly reported to the team on Monday to avoid the rising fines. Based on COVID-19 protocols and all signs pointing to him being unvaccinated, he won’t be eligible to join the team until he has two consecutive negative tests.
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) October 12, 2021
His intentions remain unknown. His relationship with 76ers fans is also tenuous right now. How will he cope with and win back the fans? Philadelphia fans can be unforgiving, and it’s a tough place to play. Most are fine with the possibility of Simmons leaving.
— Sixers News (@sixersnewsfeed) October 13, 2021
What’s The Beef?
Via Black Sports Online:
“In this most recent sit-down, as was the case during that August gathering, Morey and Rivers once again asked Simmons for his reasoning for seeking a trade elsewhere. While the overwhelming majority of communication between Klutch and Philadelphia this summer has persisted between Paul, Morey and Brand, sources said, Simmons has only directly mentioned a general interest in a new start, sources said. And on Tuesday, Simmons didn’t explain why he chose to report this week, either.
He has only alluded to wanting to grow his game in a different situation, one that has not been clouded by longstanding questions about his relationship with and a perceived on-court fit issue alongside Embiid.”
Doc Didn’t Support Him
The Ben Simmons saga has engulfed the NBA landscape all offseason, and up until the Kyrie Irving vaccination drama, it was the top story in the league. Things have been nasty between the Sixers and Simmons since the team was unceremoniously beaten by the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The No.1-seed Sixers lost three of four home games to the underdog Hawks.
Doc Rivers was pretty much mum on Simmons, who played the worst series of his NBA career. Even as the social media haymakers and trade rumors rained down on Simmons’ head, Rivers didn’t throw much support Simmons’ way. Neither did the organization. That caused a strain in the star players’ relationship with the franchise.
Doc Rivers on Ben Simmons informing the 76ers that he wants to be traded;
"I can tell you up front, we would love to get Ben back. And if we can, we're going to try to do that. pic.twitter.com/JeWoIE3W7U
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 22, 2021
Rivers has reiterated all summer that the team wanted his star guard back. But his statement following the Game 7 loss, sounded much different.
When a reporter asked Rivers if Simmons could be the starting point guard on a championship winning-team, Rivers’ answer was pretty blunt and straightforward.
“I don’t know the answer to that right now.”
The statement was blown out of proportion and the social media helped ignite a rift between Simmons and Rivers. Reports say Rivers blames the media. Simmons feels Rivers should have been reprimanded by team President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey over the comments.
The team needs Simmons. They’ll do their best to make things as normal as possible, even if a trade is the best option during the season. Simmons being present only increases his value on the trade market. Simmons also has to be willing to put the work in to improve his offensive game.
The late great Kobe Bryant once told Simmons:
“If you don’t get a jumpshot you’re gonna regret it.”
To this day, it’s the thing that’s plagued him since he entered the league.