Ben Simmons' feud with the Philadelphia 76ers reached a point that few disagreements between player and franchise have reached in NBA history. The Australian failed to perform at a very high level in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Atlanta Hawks and the comments his teammates and coach made after that were blamed for Simmons wanting to desperately leave the franchise that drafted him No. 1 overall.
However, now that he is a part of the Brooklyn Nets, Simmons has spoken about what convinced him to leave the Sixers and it seems the issues are far beyond what they appear to be on the surface. According to Ben, the issues started long before the playoff loss and he suggested that the problems between him and the franchise were personal, not just related to basketball.
"Ben Simmons says 'it was a personal thing with me' that made him unwilling to play in Philly before the trade to Brooklyn – not fan, team or media comments during or after playoffs. Says his issues preceded the playoffs. Says he’s not yet ready to play but is ramping up."
Simmons didn't play a single game for the Sixers this season, leading to astronomical fines for missing games and other team-related events. Reports suggested that he lost upwards of $19 million thanks to his refusal to participate in things that the franchise wanted him to. Simmons will be hoping things are much different with his new team, where his skillset is almost an ideal fit.
Ben Simmons has already joined up with the Nets and he was spotted courtside as the Nets beat the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. While there is no concrete date on when Simmons will be seen on the floor for the first time this season, building him back up after so many months away will be the initial priority for the Sixers.