The biggest trade of the NBA season saw the Brooklyn Nets deal James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and a pair of first-round picks.
This trade involved parties on both sides who were unhappy with their current organization.
Harden’s issues with the Nets were well-documented, and Simmons hasn’t played in a game for the 76ers so far this season, with some clear problems with the Philadelphia organization.
Simmons was introduced on Tuesday with the Brooklyn Nets for his first press conference since the trade, and he talked honestly about his time with the 76ers and how his situation there got as ugly as it did.
Ben Simmons reflects on the end of his time with the Sixers:
"It was just piled up … to where I just knew I wasn't myself and I needed to get back into that place … being happy as a person." pic.twitter.com/33OTltQ29B
— ESPN (@espn) February 15, 2022
“It was just piled up. A lot of things have gone on over the years and I wasn’t myself. I needed to get back to being myself and being happy as a person. It wasn’t about basketball or money, I want to get back to being who I am and getting back to playing basketball at a high level.”
A big reason that many believe that Simmons was sitting out for the 76ers was his tumultuous relationship with teammate Joel Embiid.
Embiid seemed pretty happy about Simmons being traded, posting this meme the day of the trade where the back story is that a man is going to a funeral of one of his haters just to make sure that they had expired.
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 10, 2022
Simmons appearing at his first press conference is a great sign of things to come for the former All-Star guard.
Reports said that Simmons was ecstatic when he received news of the trade, offering him a fresh start alongside some great teammates in Brooklyn.
Simmons can be a very valuable piece if he is used correctly. While the 76ers undoubtedly got the best player in the deal in James Harden, the Nets could mesh better with a player like Simmons who won’t be asked to score as much alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.