Last month the Sixers and the Nets elected to strike a deal at the trade deadline that sent James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philadelphia in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, a 2022 first-round pick (unprotected), and a 2027 first-round pick (protected), according to NBA.com.
Ben Simmons has not played a game for the Sixers all season. The last time we saw him in an NBA uniform was in game seven of the eastern conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks. After the game, Doc Rivers was asked if he thought Ben Simmons was a championship-level point guard.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” the somber coach said following Simmons’ five-point performance in Game 7.
Rivers would try to clarify his comments, stating his comments had, “nothing to do with Ben.”
“I was basically saying, ‘I’m not answering that crap,” Rivers said. “Those questions. What disappointed me, and I don’t do this media thing very often. It was being portrayed that I was out there saying, ‘I don’t think we can win with Ben,’ And I do.”
Rivers’ comments would later lead to Simmons informing the Sixers that he would like to be traded and would not be returning to the team. However, he would return to the team and took part in a couple of practices before being kicked out and elected to a trip to Delilah’s Gentleman’s Club in Philly, a source shared with me this past October.
Fast forward to February 2022, Philly agreed to trade Ben Simmons and other assets to Brooklyn for James Harden and Paul Milsap. Following the trade, Simmons has not played for the Nets as he is nursing a back injury and will not play against the Sixers on Thursday night. He will be in the building, however, just on the Nets bench.
However, before the two teams face off this evening, Philly fans voiced their stance on Simmons return outside the Nets hotel this morning. Boo booing him with one fan calling him, “You p*** a** n***.”
There is no telling what will be sent in his direction tonight when they face the Sixers. Normally, when a player returns their former team will give then a tribute video. According to Doc Rivers when spoke to Bally Sports Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson earlier this week, he didn’t know if the Sixers would be giving Ben on or not.
“Well, that’s a loaded question, said Rivers. ‘Yes, I do actually! Ben did a lot of good things here. It didn’t end well, right? Just like marriages and kind of other things don’t end well, right? But, Ben did a lot of good things here. But it is funny, I don’t know if we are or not, but if we did, I wouldn’t have any issues with it.”
The Sixers and Nets play at the Wells Fargo Center tonight at 7:30 pm EST.