Ben Simmons’ ugly divorce with Doc Rivers and the Philadelphia 76ers is a matter of public record.
This week, ahead of his debut season with the Brooklyn Nets, Simmons appeared on J.J. Redick’s The Old Man and the Three podcast and offered his side of the story.
Specifically, he discussed a now-infamous practice that saw him return to the Sixers only to be kicked out by Doc.
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“I was trying to do the right thing and I just was not in that place to play,” Simmons said.
“I just couldn’t do it…I actually spoke to Doc before practice. I was like, ‘Doc, I’m not ready mentally. I’m not ready. Please just understand that.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’m gonna put you in any way.’”
One person who has taken issue with that version of events? Doc’s son, Austin Rivers.
— Connor (@c_mcderm) September 23, 2022
Obviously the world will never know who is telling the truth here, but the fact that Simmons continues to make more headlines for this nonsense than substantive on-the-court accomplishments is telling.
The Sixers didn’t treat Simmons right. They threw him under the bus in a pretty brutal way for what was a failure that he wasn’t solely responsible for. That said – he also hasn’t exactly shown a massive dedication to the game of basketball.
And the stories of how he treated 76ers staff are hard to forget.
Plus, it seems like Simmons really has a desire to needle at Philly in a way you wouldn’t expect from a guy who allegedly is just trying to move on.
What happened between Simmons and the Sixers is really unfortunate. But it’s time to forget and forgive.
It’s nice that Vikings fans finally found something entertaining to watch. https://t.co/1W5FYuSUCo
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 23, 2022
If Simmons enjoys a strong campaign with the Nets in 2022-23, it will go a long ways in repairing his reputation.
Should he struggle again, though – he may end up going down as arguably the most disappointing player of his generation.