Ben Simmons Throws Shade at 76ers ‘Not Knowing How to Win’

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid

Getty Ben Simmons #25 and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers talk during the NBA game at Phoenix Suns

Ben Simmons has battled criticism since he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets at last February’s trade deadline as part of the blockbuster James Harden deal. Whether it was when he battled injuries and was unable to get on the court or struggled when he did, he’s faced critique. The criticism is something that he bonded with Kyrie Irving over, and now both players are contributing at a high rate for the Nets in their recent surge. 

Brooklyn has been the hottest team in the NBA after winning their eleventh straight game with a 123-106 win against the Charlotte Hornets on December 31. A lot of that change has been since hiring Jacque Vaughn to be the team’s head coach. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving recently spoke about the difference that Vaughn has made since taking over. Ben Simmons also told ESPN’s Nick Friedell how Vaughn’s impact and Brooklyn’s veteran players have contributed to their recent surge while also taking a slight shot at his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers

Simmons Calls Out Sixers for “Not Knowing How to Win”

“In my experiences in Philly we had a young team and we had guys who were not used to being in the league for that long,” Simmons told Nick Friedell. “So not knowing how to win and not knowing it’s not easy to win. We have a lot of vets on the team. Ky, Kev, and understanding it’s game by game and not getting too carried away with it.”

Simmons’ recent comments about the Sixers not knowing how to win joins comments he made in November about his Philadelphia teammates not having his back during his time in the city of Brotherly Love. 

“I definitely didn’t handle it the right way after the season, but there’s two sides,” Simmons told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Your teammates are supposed to have your back. Your coaches are supposed to have your back. And I didn’t have that at all.”

Not only did the Australian point guards teammates not have his back, but neither was his coach. Simmons talked about battling his mental health after being injured and telling Sixers coach Doc Rivers that he wasn’t ready to play and how it didn’t go over well for him from there. 

“I still wasn’t ready in my head. I wasn’t in a place to get on the court and play. I went to Coach and said, ‘I’m not ready yet to get back on the court, I need some time.’ He says, ‘Well, I’m going to put you out there regardless,'” Simmons says, shaking his head. “Okay, so now you’re just trying to f… with me,” Simmons continued

Nets Support for Ben Simmons

While Ben Simmons didn’t get the support he wanted from the Sixers organization, his Nets teammates have been helpful in his return from injury this season. In an October interview with ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving discussed how the two have bonded over the amount of criticism they receive and advice he shared for Simmons after battling injuries. 

“I think one of our greatest strengths as a human community is humanizing each other’s lives. He’s a human being, so he’s going to respond his way. And he’s going to deal with things his way, and we have to honor and respect that. That’s what people with integrity do. Not everyone lives by those same moral principles, so yeah, as a leader, I feel like it’s my responsibility to protect him, but I also must understand he has to go through things on his own. And when he asks for help, just be there for him. …

I don’t want to say I have all the answers figured out myself because it’s an ongoing battle myself, just dealing with those ebbs and flows. But for him, I just don’t want to see him get caught up in the same nonsense.” Irving told Friedell


Read More