Dwight Howard once again defends Ben Simmons, criticizes 76ers fans
For the last several months, one of the most public supporters of Ben Simmons has been former 76ers center, Dwight Howard. During his time in Philadelphia and even after leaving, Howard has stood up for Simmons through everything he’s gone through.
Recently, the Lakers center spoke with Tyler Tynes of GQ and brought up the relationship between the disgruntled star and Philly fans. Ben Simmons has claimed to be dealing with some mental struggles, and Howard completely backs him, providing insight into the situation.
You can read Dwight Howard’s full interview with GQ here:
“I don’t think people understand how difficult it is to be an 18 year old kid to come into a world like this. It’s a different reality being in the NBA. Ben is young and being the face of a franchise going through changes. And everything you do will be publicized. All your mistakes, all your failures.
When you do something bad, they put that out there more. The whole world sees it and they judge you based off your mistakes. All of us have problems we deal with on the daily. I don’t think people really and truly understand that part and they get offended when players don’t wanna talk or won’t do certain things.”
Dwight Howard then discussed the relationship between Simmons and Philadelphia, backing the 76ers star once again. Howard claims that Philly fans need to be more compassionate and understanding of Simmons’ situation, despite his unwillingness to cooperate with anyone.
“I don’t think the Philly fans have really treated him fairly throughout this whole situation based off what they heard in the media. They feel like he’s obligated to them. But what if this was your son or daughter or one of your friends dealing with what Ben’s dealing with? How would you handle it? How would you feel?”
If Ben Simmons were open to anyone, I would fully agree, but it’s been a tough battle with Simmons not willing to cooperate with the Sixers who want to help him get better mentally. Almost immediately following that, Dwight Howard then said he wouldn’t return to Philadelphia if he were Ben Simmons.
“Well, I would have to be a professional first and do my job. To the best of my ability. But he probably just wants a fresh start. That’s why I wanted to leave Orlando. I just wanted a fresh start.”
Dwight Howard will return to Philadelphia when the 76ers host the Lakers in late January, but in the meantime, Philadelphia returns home Saturday to host the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images