Sixers Wing Backs Ben Simmons: ‘He Was Thrown Under the Bus’

Ben Simmons Matisse Thybulle Sixers

Getty Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia defend Danilo Gallinari during a playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Bashing Ben Simmons has become a popular pastime on the hoops blogosphere. And given his playoff woes, subsequent trade request and apparent refusal to play another game for the Philadelphia 76ers, that should come as no surprise.

Furthermore, the anti-Ben crowd was emboldened in the immediate aftermath of Philly’s playoff ouster by key figures in the Sixers’ own locker room. Whether they were overblown or not, statements made by Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers in the wake of the team’s Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks got the hate train off to an incredible jumpstart.

In spite of the growing noise about Simmons, though — particularly in the City of Brotherly Love — not everyone is looking to pile onto the three-time All-Star and former No. 1 overall pick.

One of Simmons’ teammates, defensive superstar Matisse Thybulle, just made a strong statement of his own about what has been going on with the embattled floor general.

Thybulle Takes Responsibility for the Sixers’ Game 7 Loss

On the September 24 episode of JJ Redick’s podcast, The Old Man & the Three, Thybulle was probed for his thoughts on the ongoing Simmons drama. Specifically, Redick was curious about Thybulle’s opinion on whether the Sixers could have handled the situation better.

Before addressing the question directly, Thybulle seized the opportunity to take some of the responsibility for the way Philly’s season ended.

“There’s a lot to be said and, to the last point you made — he was thrown under the bus — you asked me if I had been booed or people been mad at me. I made the foul that lost us the last game, and I received almost no… like there was a little bit on Twitter, but like the Ben hate was so much louder,” Thybulle said.

“Just to build the frame of reference — like, I lost us the game, which lost us the series, and no one really spoke about it, but they wanted to talk about the passing up the dunk and passing it to me more than my foul.”

Ultimately, Thybulle feels that the Sixers and Simmons have each earned a share of the blame for what has unfolded throughout the summer.

“I think that both sides play a decent role in it, right? Like, neither side really helped themselves through the situation. Whoever started it, whoever’s making it worse at this point doesn’t really matter but either side has played a pretty decent role in the situation that we find ourselves in right now”

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Thybulle Feels For Simmons As a Friend

Regardless of who’s at fault and how the Simmons situation is affecting the Sixers as a whole, Thybulle has sympathy for the point guard on a personal level. More than anything, he dislikes the very public nature of what is transpiring with Simmons.

“On a human level — as his teammate, like, as a friend — you hate to see people put in this situation that’s so heavily covered by the media, because people lose sight of this human aspect of all of us as athletes.”

It’s that dehumanizing that Thybulle finds particularly troubling.

“Especially in these times, especially in controversial times where we’re looked at as like as a commodity. I don’t even know exactly, like, what people consider us in these moments but it’s not as humans,” he said. “So, on a personal level, I really do feel for him because this would suck for anybody.”


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