At this point, everyone is tired of guessing when Ben Simmons will return to the NBA. He cited mental health issues as to why he has not returned yet and gained support from experts and former players who sympathized with him. However, a recent photo of him going to practice in another gym gives fans more reasons to hate him.
Simmons practicing in St Joseph’s University
It’s hard to feel sorry for Ben when he continues to make moves that disappoint the Sixers fans. He has been spotted going to St. Joseph’s gym to practice and keep in shape. The sessions are done behind closed doors so there’s no way of knowing what’s happening inside or who he practices with. But for anyone who claims he’s not ready yet for NBA action, it’s absurd that the Australian attends shootarounds with college players and non-pros. If he is healthy enough and in the right state of mind to engage in that, he can also practice or have shootarounds with his teammates.
Maybe, practicing away from the team gives him peace of mind, or he just wants to keep in shape should the Sixers finally pull the trigger on his trade. Player agent Rich Paul claims the team targeted his client and painted an unfair narrative about Ben.
The hate for Simmons grows each day
At this point, we can’t blame fans if they believe Ben is doing this further to erode the already broken trust between him and Philadelphia. A Sixers fan even shrugged off getting hit by a car just to diss Simmons.
When he explained his side, the team gave him chances and stopped fining him for missed games. After he refused to reveal the progress of the process he’s been undertaking to improve his mental health; the Sixers fined him again. This circus will probably go on and on until the team finally decides to trade him for whatever he’s worth right now.
Philadelphia should start preparing for life without Simmons, especially in the playoffs when the stakes are higher. The team should get whatever assets other general managers in the NBA think are equal to Simmons’ value. His trade stock has plummetted considerably given his attitude and the team performing well despite him not playing.
Ben should be transparent about his mental health progress and practice with his team to show he’s serious about returning. His recent actions are not helping him return sooner or win back the love lost from fans. Simmons is fast becoming the villain in the narrative he helped create with the way things are going.