The Philadelphia 76ers and star guard Ben Simmons have been going back and forth all summer since the team was eliminated in Game 7 by the Atlanta Hawks in the semifinals. Simmons had a miserable playoff performance and he was in trade rumors all offseason.
Ever since he officially requested a trade in late August, the Sixers and Simmons have been in a standoff. The team has maintained that they want him back with the team and he has returned to the team in some sort of capacity after dining his holdout.
However, it has not been smooth since his return.
He was thrown out of practice the day before the season opener, he then cleared the air with the team as he admitted he is not mentally ready to play. He has since gone to see a mental health professional, but not the ones the Sixers have on their staff. He was not keeping the team in the loop and Philadelphia began fining him again, after briefly stopping, before he began releasing information to the team.
Sixers legend Charles Barkley took all of this in and he ripped into Simmons on “Inside the NBA”:
This dude has done everything he can not to be re-recruited. They started the season begging him to come back so they have massaged him. They wanted to go see him. He said ‘Don’t come see me’. He came and then he acted like a jerk in practice. They wanted him back. Then, because he wanted to get paid, he came back, and he started acting like a jerk and they kicked him out. They gave him another chance. They said ‘OK, you said you’ve got some issues’. He said ‘I don’t wanna see your guys’. They start fining him, now he’s back. They’ve bent over backwards to kiss this dude’s (expletive). Now it’s time they start kicking his (expletive).
Please be advised that the clip below contains language that some might consider offensive.
As this all plays out, the Sixers will have to figure out what to do with Simmons and try to get the most value for him despite everything that has been going on with him. He is still a talented player, but all of this has driven his trade value down a bit and he needs to work his way back towards playing for Philadelphia.
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Source: Yahoo Sports