The Ben Simmons rumors have been piling up all summer, and today, a Woj Bomb turned them in stone cold facts.
ESPN Sources: Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons will not report for opening of training camp next week and intends to never play another game for the franchise. Simmons hasn’t spoken to team since a late August meeting when he communicated this message to Sixers officials.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 21, 2021
This ends the controversial Ben Simmons era in Philadelphia. A worthy all-star who was robbed of Defensive Player of the Year this year, the 6’10 guard excelled in plenty of areas. And yet, he also couldn’t handle basketball’s most simple task: shooting. Simmons in the course of five years with the Sixers was simultaneously overrated and underrated.
His weaknesses on the offensive end were so glaring they were often exposed in big moments, particularly the playoffs. But Simmons was also a unique talent who is a lock down defender and one of the best facilitators in the game. His ability to create three pointers resulted in career years statistically for JJ Redick and Seth Curry, both in their 30’s.
But the end of Ben Simmons tenure starts with the beginning of his career here. In the 2018 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Sixers were forced to start young TJ McConnell to provide a boost on offense because their starting point guard had become a liability in half-court sets. In the 2021 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, the Sixers were forced to extensively play 19 year old rookie, Tyrese Maxey because their starting point guard had become a liability in half-court sets.
Ben Simmons just never improved. He was comfortable with plateauing.
In a city that is Uber-demanding of its athletes to a fault, often too cutthroat, they took the opposite approach with Ben Simmons. The demands, if you can even call them that, were simple. Hit your free throws, attack the rim and the infamous demand of the much-maligned Brett Brown: take one three pointer a game. It has become evident that will not happen in a Sixers uniform, or possibly ever.
It’s fitting that Ben Simmons recently purchased a $17M mansion in Hidden Hills, California. Because that’s what Simmons does: hides. He hides from adversity, hides from challenges, hides behind a “camp” composed of family and friends constantly telling him how exceptional he is.
So now, Simmons will continue to hide as a new Sixers season commences. He will maintain he’s in great shape as he plays ghost defenders in his trainers gym. Soon, this game of hide-n-seek will be someone else’s problem.