The way the relationship between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers ended was certainly ugly. The events leading up to the divorce were ugly and everything was aired out in public as the two sides looked to find a resolution.
Eventually, they did as the Sixers sent Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets in the deal that brought James Harden to Philadelphia. On Thursday, Simmons finally opened up and he discussed not only passing up the dunk against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 7, but he also discussed his holdout from the team and the mental issues that were holding him back from competing.
ESPN’s Jalen Rose blamed both Simmons and the Sixers for the ugly divorce in the aftermath of the comments on “Jalen and Jacoby”:
Rose blames Simmons
If you look back at the landscape of the East, Philadelphia has the best player that hasn’t done that yet. We’ve seen Toronto, Miami with Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard when the East to get it done. Giannis Antetokounmpo won the championship, the Boston Celtics and Jayson Tatum and so Philly, they were trying to create a process and it was their turn, but they never delivered. And that created a level of frustration and finger pointing and after that series. If allowed everyone to point the finger at Ben Simmons’ lack of shooting, lack of aggression, and his lack of productivity. I mean, the kind of talent that he is, if you look back at the stats and those fourth quarters he was inept and so, for me, that was the fork in the road for the relationship. When he returns and doesn’t play, of course they’re going to fine you for not working out. It doesn’t matter if you’re the strongest person on the team. This is a lifestyle. This is every day just comes with the territory. And also, yes, they’re gonna ask you to practice if they deem you to be healthy and available to go. And so the dichotomy of they’re going to ask you to do your job.
Rose blamed the Sixers and the name-callers
A lot of people owe him an apology because there was a lot of name calling when he didn’t play. Calling him weak, calling him soft, questioning what he said about his mental stability, which is a real thing, and you got to support someone when they’re honest and open enough to say that out loud and address that. That’s a thing that somebody could be closeted about. So when somebody opens up about that, that should be embraced.
The video clip
Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire