“People always ask me like, ‘If you were to get traded again, where you want it to be?’ I always say, ‘Just Philly. Philly is a second home to me,’” Simmons said in an August 29 story by Andscape’s Marc J. Spears. “And in time, you learn and grow as people. I don’t really have anything bad to say about Philly. It was a crazy situation at the end, but it is what it is.”
He told Spears that he had no hard feelings toward the Sixers.
“I had a lot of fun there. It was time for me to go. When I did leave, it was good timing. Obviously, the injury and everything that was going on didn’t help. But I think it gave me a chance to really appreciate it. I’ll always have love for Philly,” Simmons said, according to Spears.
The Sixers and Simmons went through a long, drawn-out process to split after Simmons requested a trade in August 2021. The team eventually granted the request and shipped him to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden on February 10, 2022.
Since then, Simmons has appeared in only 42 games for the Sixers and Harden has also requested a trade out of Philadelphia.
Charles Barkley Rips James Harden
Sixers legend Charles Barkley said the Sixers should trade Harden while they still can.
“I think it’s just time to move on from him. That’s just my personal opinion,” Barkley said on the August 25 episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “Just make the best trade because if he comes there, he’s gonna be miserable, I think he holds [Tyrese] Maxey back, so I think, ‘Hey, give us a couple good players.’”
Barkley also addressed Harden in the interview, telling him that he’s not the player he once was. Harden turned 34 on August 26.
“Nobody’s gonna give you a long-term deal. You’re past your prime,” Barkley, a Hall of Famer, said. “First of all, you’re making $36 million this year. Don’t act like that’s chump change…He’s gonna have to take less money if he wanna continue to play. Plain and simple.”
Tyrese Maxey Comments on James Harden Situation
“I will say this about the situation: to each his own. James, he’s a professional, and he’s doing something for a reason,” Maxey said. “You just have to kind of sit back and understand what he’s doing as a friend, but then as a teammate and someone as a part of an organization I’m with right now, you have to prepare for whether James is going to be there or not going to be there. That’s just the nature of it.”
Maxey hinted at Simmons’ trade request in August 2021 to explain why he understands how this process works.
“It’s crazy to say this, but it’s not our first rodeo, honestly. That’s funny to say, but that’s life,” Maxey said. “James is his own individual, and he’s able to do whatever he pleases. I’m preparing right now to play with him or without him… and I love James. If James decided he’s going to come back and play for us, there’s nobody in this organization that would be upset about that.”