Ben Simmons’ teammates made a point to publicly support him after he was involved in a car accident and avoided DUI charges. The Sixers made it clear that they didn’t condone his actions but still stood by their star as the team begins its post-season.
Ben Simmons has been caught in an ongoing saga of trade rumors, ending with the Sixers’ decision to retain him. After his impressive performance during game 5 against Brooklyn Nets, Ben’s teammates were asked their opinion on whether or not they wanted to keep him on the team. The responses varied across players, but all came out in favor of keeping Simmons around for this season.
The “ben simmons trade” is a surprising development in the ongoing saga of Ben Simmons. Sixers teammates have come out to support him after he was traded from the 76ers to the Utah Jazz.
Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers have had a busy few weeks. After a long absence, the All-Star point guard returned to the squad this month, but he isn’t anticipated to play anytime soon owing to his mental state not yet being where it needs to be.
Simmons’ 76ers teammates seemed to be giving up on him due to his recent distracting conduct, but Joel Embiid and Harris, Tobias suddenly reversed their positions and sent Simmons similar supporting notes.
Joel Embiid is urging 76ers fans to rally around Ben Simmons.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Ben Simmons | Getty Images/Mitchell Leff
Before tip-off on Friday, Embiid walked the floor alone and addressed the audience before the 76ers’ 2021 home opening against the Brooklyn Nets. Just days after declaring he doesn’t get paid to “babysit” his teammates, the superstar center encouraged Philadelphia fans to support Simmons as he suffers with mental health concerns.
“I just want to thank you for your support for all these years on behalf of my teammates, the organization, and myself,” Embiid said. “A lot has transpired in the previous several months, and I hope you guys will continue to support us and our buddy Ben, who is still our brother.”
On Friday, though, Embiid wasn’t the only Sixers player to defend Simmons.
Tobias Harris expresses his ardent support for Simmons.
Before the 76ers’ game against the Nets on Friday, Harris rushed to Twitter to express his support for Simmons, who is battling demons off the court. After the game, the star forward repeated those sentiments.
“At this moment, we have to respect his privacy, his space, and we have to be there for him,” Harris said.
It’s easy to make judgments about a lot of things just by looking at them on the surface, particularly when it comes to athletes. In general, we’re represented as superhumans in this universe, and you’re not meant to feel anything or go through anything. So I think we just need to remember that he’s a person first, and that if he’s going through anything, we need to respect that and work through it as a team, organization, and fans.
Because everyone is shouting and praising him while he’s in here putting on a show and helping us win. But we live in a culture where people ask, “What have you done for me lately?” It’s simple to turn around when that isn’t the case. As a result, he need more assistance at this time. I simply believe we need to be there for him as a group, and I told the group that. And I hope that message gets through to the fans and everyone else involved with the organization, including you.
That’s what I call leadership.
More than basketball is at stake in the Simmons affair.
Only a few days ago, the NBA world (including me) was slamming Simmons for being childish and theatrical after rejoining the 76ers. However, the news that Simmons is battling with mental health concerns and does not feel confident enough to play for the squad has completely changed the narrative.
Embiid and Harris are aware of this. They would have been the first to throw Simmons under the bus last week, but they were the first to rally behind him once he exposed his mental health issues to the squad.
Simmons’ teammates will welcome him back with open arms once he’s ready to play if he’s honest about his troubles off the court. But for the time being, all they can do is cheer him on from afar, and they’ve done an admirable job of it.
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