Ben Simmons Opens Up on Relationship With Sixers Fans, Philadelphia
Last season, there was no bigger story in Philadelphia than the stalemate between Ben Simmons and the Sixers. After a lackluster (to say the least) performance against the Atlanta Hawks in the postseason, the former No. 1 pick demanded to be traded. When Daryl Morey remained patient to find the best deal, Simmons opted to distance himself from the team, citing mental health as the reason to not take the floor.
This saga came to an end at the trade deadline when Morey sent Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and a pair of first-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden. The three-time All-Star made his return to Philly later in the year but didn’t play because of a back injury.
Simmons recently spoke out for the first since the trade as a guest on “The Old Man and The Three” podcast with former teammate JJ Redick. During the episode, he had some positive things to say about his time in Philadelphia.
Philly is obviously a sports city. In my experience, playing there was incredible. For the most part, it was incredible. I had a great time, the fans were unbelievable. I still have an apartment there, so I do own some real estate in Philadelphia still. I feel like I’m part of Philly still.
Ben Simmons Still has Love for Philly
Considering how things went down in the end, it’s rather shocking to hear Simmons say such glowing things about the city and its fans. Even though his tenure was always polarizing, he still can confidently call Philly his home.
It’s just unique. Even being in Brooklyn now, it’s completely different. This is a different experience for me. I value that time I did spend in Philly because I was able to learn and grow in that city. I got friends for life there, my brother lives there, I got family there. Philly is great, I don’t think people think that I hate it.
Simmons will potentially play his first game in Philly since the trade early in the season as the Sixers host the Nets on November 22nd.
Mandatory Credit: CBS Sports