Ben Simmons has yet to play a game for the Sixers this season as he is still upset with Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers for blaming him for their Game 7 loss to the Hawks in last year’s playoffs, reports reported ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
According to sources close to Simmons, when Simmons did not blame Embiid for Embiid’s poor playoff performance against the Toronto Raptors in 2019, he is upset that Embiid seemed to blame him for last season’s playoff loss. He’s frustrated that Rivers didn’t catch sight of him while he was training in Los Angeles last summer.
Simmons doesn’t deny that he didn’t respond when Rivers texted and called him several times over the summer to see him. But in hindsight, Simmons feels that Rivers and the Sixers could have done more, like showing up at a well-known San Fernando Valley gym where he trained.
Simmons is also skeptical about the deadline being pushed back given they are known to be trying to lure James Harden away from the Nets this offseason, and Simmons is upset at how he will be fined despite raising concerns about his mental health expresses.
He’s also skeptical, sources close to him say, about Sixers basketball operations president Daryl Morey’s willingness to trade him over his previous pursuit of Harden – who may become a free agent this summer. Simmons would be the best player the Sixers would send in any theoretical trade. And he’s upset that the organization is fining him so heavily after he raised mental health as an issue upon his return.
Rich Paul, Simmons’ agent, spent weeks in the fall trying to convince the three-time All Star to return to Philadelphia as a token of his good faith.
There was no way Simmons wanted to leave.
The Sixers have to hope things go completely wrong in Brooklyn because if the Nets win the championship this season, Harden would likely stay.