The Philadelphia 76ers begged Ben Simmons to come back. He didn’t want to. Then the team started fining him and Simmons returned, only to act in a completely unprofessional manner. Enough is enough, according to one Sixers legend.
Charles Barkley sent a stern message to the embattled star on the “TNT Tip-Off Show” prior to the Sixers-Bucks game. The Hall of Famer wasn’t buying Simmons’ claim of mental health issues, saying: “It’s time for them to kick his a**.” The outspoken analyst had no sympathy for Simmons who has been playing a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with the organization. They offered him medical help and he turned it down. Bottom line, Simmons doesn’t want to get fined. And the Sixers aren’t interested in trading him for pennies on the dollar.
Barkley spent eight of his 16 Hall of Fame seasons in Philly so he knows the City of Brotherly Love. Here is his scathing review of Simmons’ actions:
This dude has done everything he can not to be re-recruited. They started off the season begging him to come back. So they have massaged him, Shaq. They wanted to go see him and he said, ‘Don’t come see me.’ He came and then he acted like a jerk in practice. They wanted him back. Then, because he wanted to get paid, he came back. Then he came back and he started acting like a jerk and they kicked him out.
They gave him another chance. They said, ‘OK you said you got some issues.’ He said, ‘No, I don’t want to see your guys.’ They start fining him again. Now he’s back. They have bent over backwards to kiss this dude’s a**. Now it’s time they start kicking his a**. Like there’s only two: you kiss somebody’s a** or you kick their a**. It’s time for them to kick his a**.
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Simmons Won’t Be Traded Prior to Deadline
The NBA trade deadline is slated for Thursday, February 10 at 3 p.m. That appeared to be the next date to monitor in the Simmons saga as a few interested teams submit offers. Don’t bet on it, says Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer.
He believes Simmons will stay on the Sixers’ roster after the deadline since rival executives view the asking price too high. Team president Daryl Morey is more than content to let him sit out.
“Morey’s asking price remains higher than any rival front office has been willing to match,” Fischer wrote. “The weekly updates on Simmons’ status with the team and whether he’s being fined have had no impact on his trade value among rival executives.”
Boston was the latest team “engaged” in reported trade talks for Simmons. They joined Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, Minnesota, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, and Toronto as the known teams interested in Simmons, per Fischer.
No Moral Victories for Philly
The Sixers lost back-to-back games to the Knicks and Bucks, ones where they hung around until late in the fourth quarter. Considering they were missing Joel Embiid and three other players due to COVID-19, many were calling those defeats moral victories. Stop it.
Head coach Doc Rivers doesn’t want to hear that stuff. You either win the game or you lose it.
“You either do one of two things in a competition, you either win the game or lose the game, period,” Rivers said after a 118-109 loss to Milwaukee. “We gave ourselves a chance to win the game in both and there is something to be taken from that so we do learn a lot but we didn’t win the games and that’s a fact.”