Sixers Open Preseason Schedule vs. ‘Unstoppable’ Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets, who was linked to the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets, who was linked to the Dallas Mavericks.

Get ready to see a familiar face when the Philadelphia 76ers open the preseason. The Sixers will travel to Barclays Center on October to take on Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets at 7:30 p.m.

The Sixers announced their full preseason slate on Friday which includes a home (October 5) and away (October 10) versus the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team will fly down to Charlotte to battle the Hornets on October 12. All four games can be heard on 97.5 The Fanatic, with the two home games being broadcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Single-game tickets will go on sale (via Ticketmaster) at a later date.

The 2022-23 regular season is expected to start on October 18, although the schedule hasn’t been released yet. The Sixers are planning to switch things up for training camp this year by heading down to Charleston, South Carolina.

ESPN’s Marc J. Spears first reported Doc Rivers’ plans. He said the team is hoping to avoid distraction and learn the local history. Camp has traditionally been held at the Sixers’ practice facility in Camden, New Jersey during the last week of September.

“And, along with basketball, Doc wants them to work on American history, to learn some American history,” Spears reported. “They are probably going to go to a slave museum and learn about the Gullah culture out there in South Carolina.”

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Simmons Could Be ‘Unstoppable,’ per Seth Curry

Will Simmons step foot on the court in the preseason opener? That’s anybody’s guess. Star players tend to sit out meaningless exhibition games, but Simmons may want to test his footing. Remember, he hasn’t played a game since June 20, 2021 when he passed up an open dunk in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. And the Sixers were eliminated.

Simmons may want the extra practice, especially since the contest will be on his home floor in Brooklyn as opposed to on the road in Philadelphia. Then again, videos have been surfacing in recent weeks showing off his “offseason grind.” Did he work on a jumper? That remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, current Nets teammate Seth Curry – and former Sixers teammate – told an Australian newspaper that he thinks Simmons can be “unstoppable” this season. And Curry doesn’t think the three-time All-Star needs a jumper.

“He’s a multiple All Star right now for a reason,” Curry told the Herald Sun in Melbourne, via Nets Daily. “If he can add knocking down free throws at a higher clip, it’s going to allow him to be unstoppable once he puts his head down. I don’t think he needs a jump shot.

“He’s just got to do what he does best – which is defend, rebound, push the ball, make plays for other people and attack the rim. When you’ve got the size and talent like him, who takes not one but two and sometimes three guys to stop him getting to the rim, that is a lot in itself.”

Interesting. Simmons is trying to return from a nagging back injury as well as mental health issues.

Rivers Not to Blame for Simmons Leaving Philly

There was a sense (plus several reports) that Simmons forced his way out of Philly because he was mad at Rivers. He didn’t appreciate his comment after Game 7 of the Sixers-Hawks series when asked if he thought Simmons could be the point guard for a championship team. Some thought it was a flippant response.

Well, Rivers didn’t see it that way and he told “The VC Show with Vince Carter” that his comment had nothing to do with Simmons wanting to leave. It started before Rivers got to Philly.

“That one comment thing had nothing to do with why Ben wanted to leave,” Rivers told ESPN. “Alright? Let me just say that. It was a lot of things as Ben told me — and publicly now — that happened long before I got there.”

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