The 2021-22 NBA regular season is one week away from starting and the Philadelphia 76ers, 3-time All-Star point guard has JUST returned to Philadelphia.
NBA fans, and most importantly Sixers fans, have been keeping a close eye on Ben Simmons since the end of Philly’s playoff campaign last year. Ever since Ben passed the ball up to Matisse Thybulle in the pivotal moments of Game 7 against the Hawks, he has been under much scrutiny.
The turmoil between him, the Sixers organization and its fans could really be attributed to other things in the past including,
and chemistry issues
BUT alas, Ben’s late game indecision appeared to be the backbreaker for all sides.
Since June 20th, Simmons and Philadelphia 76ers have had no communication between each other until last night. Doc Rivers comments after the loss really didn’t help the hurt.
Sixers’ General Manager Elton Brand and President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, have dodged questions about Ben Simmons’s future as a Sixer. That stood until after their meeting with Simmons’ agent Rich Paul right before the ’21 NBA Draft.
The team has tried to trade Simmons in several packages for several picks and a superstar in return. Whether the deal was for Washington’s Bradley Beal or Portland’s Damian Lillard, the trade discussions were never really moving forward.
Ben Simmons even met with Doc Rivers, Daryl Morey and Elton Brand in LA to tell them he doesn’t want to be a 76er any longer. He had also cancelled several meetings with teammates to discuss his future.
On October 1st Ben was not paid his 8.2 million dollars for not showing up to Philadelphia’s facilities before the first team practice camp. Each missed game during the season would’ve resulted in a loss of 227K.
Simmons‘ contract is structured in such a way that reporting to camp would have resulted in him receiving the first 50 percent of the salary owed to him for the 2021-22 season.
Simmons even put up his Moorestown, NJ house up for sale.
As we know today, Ben Simmons has showed up to Philadelphia. Losing that amount of money would be awful no matter who you are. No one could have predicted to events leading up to today after the Game 7 loss to the Hawks.
“The Process” has a been a tumultuous ideology for the team since 2013.
Former Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie, came up with a plan to build an Eastern Conference powerhouse. The plan was to lose and gain high draft picks. That plan ended up costing the Sixers and its fans to purposely lose for FOUR consecutive seasons from 2013 to 2017. True Sixers fans remember the 10-win season back during the 2015-16 season.
10-72…Yikes. Even after all that Sixers fans still believed in “The Process”.
85 PLAYERS have played at least one game for the 76ers since 2013, prior to the 2020 season. The team also managed to lose valuable assets like Jrue Holiday, Jimmy Butler, Robert Convington and Markelle Fultz in their quest to bring a championship to Philly.
Success did come to the 76ers eventually.
The team has been a championship contender for the past four seasons. During the 2017-18 season, Philly finally established their young core of players consisting of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, T.J. McConnell and Richaun Holmes. The Sixers had won 50 games for the first time since the iconic, Iverson lead, 2000-01 season.
2017 Sixers winning.
The team had even come SO CLOSE to reaching the NBA Finals during the 2018-19 playoffs. The heartbreaking loss came from the hands of Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors, whom won it all that year.
The Sixers two franchise players, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, had front row seats to witnessing one of the greatest game winning shots in NBA history.
Only FOUR players remain from that Eastern Conference Finals team going into the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Even after all this “The Process” still continues, but for how long?