Ben Simmons is one of the best defensive players in the league, and there's no doubt that despite all the criticism that he's endured over the last year, he's still an elite player. During the 2020-21 season, Ben Simmons averaged 14.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 6.9 APG.
During the 2021-22 season, the Philadelphia 76ers traded Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets. Obviously, the nature of his exit left a lot of 76ers fans unhappy, as he refused to play for the team prior to getting traded.
In a recent clip from the upcoming episode of The Old Man and The Three podcast, Ben Simmons spoke to JJ Redick about his "relationship" with the city of Philadelphia. Ben Simmons claimed that he had an "incredible" time playing for the city, adding that the "fans are unbelievable".
"Philly is obviously a sports city. And my experience playing there was incredible. Like for the most part, it was incredible. I had a great time. The fans are 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.
It's just unique. Even being in Brooklyn now, it's completely different... I value that time I did spend in Philly. I was able to learn and grow in that city... I got family there. Philly's great, I think people have thought that I hate it.
It is clear that Ben Simmons still loves the city of Philadelphia, even if some of the fans may not feel fond of him. Though he was never able to bring the city a championship, he has accomplished a fair amount there.
Ben Simmons Will Be On A Contender With The Nets Next Season
The Brooklyn Nets will have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for at least the next season, and that likely means the team will end up being a contender. Ben Simmons is the perfect sort of player to pair with those superstars: he is an elite playmaker, rebounder, and defender who can help those two players get easier looks on offense, and cover for them on the defensive end.
Obviously, the Brooklyn Nets have enough talent on paper to make a deep run, and potentially even make the NBA Finals. However, they will have to do a lot of chemistry-building within the team, and ensure everything works the way they want it to. If they do get their chemistry in order and become a cohesive unit the Brooklyn Nets could potentially be a true championship contender.