It's not just that Ben Simmons had a playoff meltdown followed by a set of horrible decisions - he did all that as the player of a Philadelphia team. Certain cities just live sports more than most, and Philly is always in the conversation for the most dedicated, irrational fanbase in the US. Yesterday, a fan might've won them the trophy.
"Someone just hit my car."
So how crazy are Philly fans? A fan called into Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team on 94WIP to talk about Ben Simmons when someone swerved into his lane and hit his car. You'd think that would become priority no.1, and in 99% of cities in the world, it would. But this is Philadelphia.
When they heard someone just hit his car, the hosts of the show told the caller to read out the license plate, and they would write it down so he could call the cops. His response? "Anyway, I'm calling about Ben Simmons." The hosts didn't believe what they were hearing, so they asked to check: “You just got in a car accident and you’re calling about Ben Simmons?”
“Yeah, because he annoys me more than someone hitting my car and driving off.”
Philly fan live on radio
I'm going to assume he wasn't driving a new BMW, and it probably wasn't the first dent on his car. But still, you'd probably feel at least a bit annoyed by someone hitting your car. Well, in Philly, Ben Simmons is a bigger problem. The young man continued to explain his frustration is caused by something we wrote about.
“I wanna talk about how annoying Ben Simmons is because it makes me sick that he is lying about mental health.”
Philly fan on live radio
As I wrote before, Simmons and Rich Paul crossed the Rubicon when they pulled the mental health care, and reactions like these were to be expected. Simmons' story has changed so much and is so inconsistent he has lost all credibility. On top of all of that, the fact the report in which Paul accused the 76ers of putting money over mental health was written by Shams Charania, a Klutch client, didn't help.
We have to take mental health seriously and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. It's better to believe someone who's faking than not believe someone who's not. Which group Ben Simmons is in is for everyone to decide for themselves.