Ben Simmons

The Ben Simmons Era with the Philadelphia 76ers ended about as poorly as it could have. Once a rising star and savior with the franchise, Simmons’ poor playoff performance coupled with what was perceived as selfish demands, culminated in his sitting out the following season with mental health and physical injury concerns before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

All the while, Simmons has stayed relatively quiet on the matter and how he felt about the treatment he received from Sixers fans and Philadelphia media. Until now.

Simmons was a guest on the Old Man & The Three podcast with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter on Thursday and he spoke very candidly about the city of Philadelphia, how Sixers fans felt about him, and what it was like to be so criticized.

In terms of criticism about his shooting, Simmons was fired up.

“After a while, It’s just so repetitive,” said Simmons. “You’re hearing it all the time from everybody. F***ing hell. Get off my case. I do other stuff too like I’m guarding the best player! I don’t think people respect that enough.'”

When it comes to what it was like to play in Philly, Simmons reacts to the feeling of constant criticism from all corners.

“People in Philly just want to have something to say about f***ing everything, man, literally everything, said Simmons. “I post a picture of a f***ing car or a dog and I got a reporter saying ‘you should be in the f*** gym.’ Come on man.'”

Simmons also took issue with the way he was treated as the relationship between him and the Sixers deteriorated.

“It seems like everyone’s just trying to f*** with me,” Simmons said. “Like, I’m getting fined for not lifting weights, but, physically, I’m like one of the strongest guys on the f***ing team. So they’re fining me for little things. It was just a buildup…Obviously, I didn’t handle things the right way, but also the team didn’t either and the people who had that power.”

To be fair, Simmons said he still has a lot of love for the city of Philadelphia.

“Philly is obviously a sports city. And my experience playing there was incredible,” said Simmons. “Like, for the most part, it was incredible. I had a great time. The fans are unbelievable. I still have an apartment there … I feel like I’m a part of Philly still.”

As far as his current team goes, despite all the off-season drama surrounding Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, he thinks the Nets can win a championship.

“It’s going to be sick, I can’t wait. I’m so excited,” Simmons said. “I’ve got a new number, a new jersey. I’m just looking forward to it. I think we have a special team and if we get it all together we’re going to be champions. That’s the end goal.

“But yeah, I’m excited. It’s New York City. I’m playing with some unbelievable players, and a great coaching staff.”

It’s nice to hear Simmons talk about his game and the way the situation went down, especially when much of that story was told by others. However, right or wrong, it’s not clear how these kinds of comments will help Simmons the next time he’s in Philadelphia to play the Sixers. Then again, he was probably going to get booed incessantly no matter what, so, might as well earn it.

[Old Man & The Three, New York Post, NetsDaily]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.