Ben Simmons wasn’t always the coward he’s known as today. Once upon a time, he was supposed to be a key piece to Philadelphia’s Championship puzzle. For many fans, Simmons became the bad guy when he single-handedly ended what should have been a deep playoff, even Championship, run for the Sixers. I’m tempted to go on a lengthy rant detailing why he’s somewhat overrated and not worth the baggage he brings to the table, but I digress. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt on that unbelievably stupid play. Everyone makes mistakes. But how many mistakes are too many? In this case, it doesn’t matter. Simmo made sure to surpass that hypothetical number and leave a burning bridge in his wake.
As someone who had to overcome some big challenges just to get out of Australia and make it to the NBA as the number one pick of 2016, Simmons sure has seemed afraid of dealing with the fallout from that fateful moment in June. The fans put their faith into him, and when he was face to face with one of the biggest moments of his career, he turned his back. Rather than discovering a new, untapped source of motivation, he quit on Philly. I guess he never watched Rocky.
There’s no doubt, Simmons got a lot of shit from Sixers fans, but that comes with the territory of blunders of that magnitude. The series of unfortunate events that have unfolded since, could not be described as anything other than true reality TV content. The first season of Real NBA Divas, starring Ben Simmons, received a dismal one out of ten… from the Sixers fanbase.
Simmons has spent the better part of last year secluded from the team and fans alike, his tail tucked between his legs, yet has still managed to drag the Sixers season down with him. That is, until he was finally traded to Brooklyn at the deadline. Now, all the things that were plaguing him and preventing him from playing or showing his face, are fading.
While he will not be making his long awaited debut against his former team tonight, Benjamin does seem to have regained a shred of his confidence, as he will be keeping the bench toasty warm in Wells Fargo Center. A bold move indeed. Fiercely loyal and ruthlessly unforgiving, Sixers fans are going to have a field day tormenting Simmons. And they should. Philadelphia sports fans are a different breed. Historically, those who have been exiled don’t casually waltz back into the place they were banned from, unscathed.
Regardless of how much attention the Wells Fargo Center pays to Simmons, it will likely be overshadowed by what should be a contender for game of the year. KD and Kyrie will face off against the most potent duo in the NBA, in James Harden and Joel Embiid. No level of disdain can distract from the offensive clinic that will be on display tonight. Here’s a preview of what it will look like, if you’re trying to find Simmons in Wells Fargo Center tonight.
I hope the Sixers fans feel heard by Simmons and are able to finally get some closure. They probably won’t and will choose to stay bitter, but sometimes this is the way. When a player is making tens of millions of dollars to play basketball, you would think they’d be able to shoulder the blame, block out the slander, put their heads down and come back better than ever. However, as we’ve seen, not everyone can handle the pressure.
Drop your hot takes on the Simmons situation in the comments below!
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