Embattled Sixers Star Blasted by Fellow Aussie, Ex-Warrior

Ben Simmons Sixers

Getty Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons looks on during a game against the Indiana Pacers.

The war of attrition between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers reached something of a boiling-over point this week when the former was kicked out of practice for a lack of engagement. Although the end result was just a one-game suspension for Simmons, questions abound regarding his status with the team going forward.

For his part, 14-year NBA veteran Andrew Bogut, who won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, has more than a passing interest in the situation.

Although they’re not quite from the same generation of ballers, Bogut and Simmons have some things in common. Both are native Aussies and both are former No. 1 overall picks who, depending on who you talk to, may not have lived up to that distinction.

And Bogut has some thoughts on what is currently unfolding.

“Ugly. It’s not pretty,” Bogut said on SEN Drive of the Simmons situation. “It’s not good for either party, in my opinion. Ben’s side of things, training with your phone in your pocket, not being glued in to what’s going on.”

As bad as things have gotten, though, Bogut doesn’t profess to be surprised by what has occurred. He even has some theories about Simmons’ action plan.

Bogut on Why Simmons Bothered Showing Up

Reacting to Ben Simmons skipping an individual workout at the 76ers' facility | This Just InReacting to Ben Simmons skipping an individual workout at the 76ers' facility | This Just In Max Kellerman and Vince Carter discuss the news that Ben Simmons did not take part in a scheduled individual workout at the Philadelphia 76ers' practice facility. Carter also weighs in on Zion Williamson's foot injury. #ESPN #NBA ✔️Subscribe to…2021-10-21T19:09:25Z

Given his desire to leave Philly and apparent willingness to sit out as long as it takes to secure his exit, some have wondered why the three-time All-Star bothered reporting to the Sixers at all. According to Bogut, though, it may just be a simple matter of dollars and cents.

“My theory, which I think is plausible, is that he showed up technically, so he has to be paid,” he said.

The idea here would be that Simmons is in town and at least attempting to be engaged in what is going on. So, if the team opts to send him home, suspend him, etc., it’s now on them.

“If he does the bare minimum and they ask him to then leave the team because he’s detrimental culturally and just doing what he’s doing, then I think by league rules if they ask him to leave he gets his full pay,” said Bogut.

“This could be a little bit of a chess game.”

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Aussie Boomers Coach Makes Another Statment on Simmons

During the summer when the Simmons-Sixers situation had not yet gone nuclear, Australia’s national basketball team coach, Brian Goorjian, had some good things to say about Simmons. The floor general had skipped out on participating in the Tokyo Olympics, but Goorjian wasn’t holding it against him.

“He was tremendous. He sent the whole coaching staff a beautiful bottle of wine, and all the support staff. He sent all the team a gift and gave us his best wishes.” Goorjian revealed at the time.

He continues to stand by Simmons, too, although he doesn’t have much good to say about the current state of things.

“Disappointment,” Goorjian told SEN Breakfast on October 21, when probed for his feeling on what was unfolding.

“That it’s at this point is horrible and I don’t have an answer to how you deal with a situation like that,” Goorjian said.

“He’s special, and he’s a tremendous talent, and I would love and I hope that the opportunity presents itself or he gets to a situation where he can show who he is.”


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