Ben Simmons and The 76ers
By Keith Donnelly - December 4, 2022

Ben Simmons’ decisions to give the ball to the lone other Sixer who might have been a shooter who wasn’t as good as him and to refrain from shooting for four straight quarters while he was a member of the 76ers last season would likely be forgotten one day by Philadelphia sports fans. For the first time in Philadelphia, Ben Simmons will take the field donning a squad other than his own. As soon as he leaves the hotel, the fans will start to act aggressively. It will be identical to the Brooklyn Nets’ last trip to Philadelphia when Simmons was hurt.

Simmons wasn’t only the first overall pick. He was viewed as a future talent for the generation. LeBron James is longer, but he has a full-court vision. Simmons was selected to run Philadelphia’s offense from Day 1; however, he fractured his foot and was out for the 2016–17 campaign. The 76ers had their most victories since they reached the NBA Finals in 2001, the following season when Simmons earned Rookie of the Year. Embiid and Simmons lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2018 playoffs, but it seemed they had a promising future ahead of them. Before the 2018–19 campaign Jimmy Butler was added.

Getty images/Boston Globe/Boston Globe/ Contributor

Butler was traded, and Simmons once again had the offensive reins, rather than Tobias Harris and the trio remaining together. A 76ers supporter will probably admit that he led the team into the tree if you ask them. Philadelphia was beset by rumblings of unhappiness, horrendous free throw shooting statistics, and Simmons’ inability to shoot outside the paint. Following the Sixers’ poor performance in the 2020 playoffs, Brett Brown was dismissed, and Doc Rivers was brought in. The 76ers took first place in the East during the COVID-shortened 2020–21 season. Both Embiid and Simmons made the first team of the NBA’s All-Defense.
During the series and in the months that followed, Simmons acknowledged in September that he had become mentally stressed.

He also felt that the organization wasn’t providing adequate support, which bothered him. When things finally got out of hand, it was that practice. Simmons’ stint in Philadelphia was over after Rivers expelled him from training. Simmons and the 76ers had a long history together that happened over a relatively short time. Awful playoff upset lows and award-winning highs. Thanks to this game, many people might finally find complete peace from what transpired.