As the Ben Simmons drama reaches fever pitch at Philadelphia 76ers practice, it might seem as though the mercurial guard is doing everything he can to force a trade. However, his current actions also send a specific message to any team who might be willing to trade for him.
If I’m willing to torpedo things like this here, who’s to say I won’t do the same with you?
Sources: Doc Rivers asked Ben Simmons to join a defensive drill today. Simmons refused. Rivers asked again. Simmons said no again.
Rivers then told Simmons he should go home, and Simmons dropped the ball and left.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 19, 2021
Simmons, who was seen practicing with a phone in his pocket on Monday, was kicked out of Sixers practice on Tuesday after refusing to take part in a drill. Head coach Doc Rivers said that he’s also suspended Simmons for one game, which means he’ll miss the season opener on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Simmons’ teammates are turning on him and the whole thing is turning into an even bigger disaster than first thought.
“Our job is not to babysit somebody.”
— Kevin Negandhi (@KevinNegandhi) October 19, 2021
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix spoke with an anonymous NBA executive about Simmons and that person shared what seems to be the logical conclusion that most teams would draw from all this drama.
Texting with a league exec who is monitoring the Simmons situation: "When sh– goes south, this is how he reacts? Who wants a guy like that?"
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) October 19, 2021
“When s— goes south, this is how he reacts? Who wants a guy like that,” said the anonymous NBA executive.
Many NBA fans are pointing to James Harden, who forced his way out of Houston via trade, as a reason why what Simmons is attempting will work. However, while Harden certainly played games through the media, he didn’t seemingly give up and act like a child the way Simmons is doing. You can argue that Harden didn’t handle the situation maturely, but you never got the sense he wouldn’t play hard for his new team. It’s hard to see Simmons the same way now, especially with teammates publicly trashing him over his efforts, or lack thereof.
The big question is, if the Sixers can’t trade Simmons but he doesn’t try in practice…what then? We may find out.