Ben Simmons was done with the Philadelphia 76ers by the time he made his decision to force a move away from the organization. A shock playoff defeat against the Atlanta Hawks saw Simmons targeted for his poor performance and his inability to shoot the ball, something that he took to heart. Simmons felt that he wasn't adequately supported by the franchise, and refused to play before eventually getting traded for James Harden.
This situation earned him hate from not just the fans in Philadelphia, but from members of sports media and fans of other teams as well. Simmons was perceived to be running away from a situation instead of working to improve it according to some people, even though it had become a fairly toxic space for him. He has received support from a possibly unexpected source though, with Gilbert Arenas empathizing with Simmons on his 'No Chill' podcast.
"I can understand where Ben Simmons is coming from. It wasn't the media saying he can't win, his own coach said "don't know" if they can win with him. Teammates know each other weaknesses they know Ben struggles with shooting and confidence issues. Putting him out there like that wasn't right."
Ben Simmons definitely could have handled the situation in Philadelphia better and some of the questions regarding his performances were valid, but Arenas has made a fairly decent point here. Public criticism of a superstar like Simmons is a fairly radical move and an understanding of the possibility that it won't be received well is something coaches and teams need to acknowledge.
Having said that, Simmons still has a lot to prove to the NBA world now that he is part of the Brooklyn Nets. Although Steve Nash has explained that Ben is nowhere close to playing again at the moment, his return to the court whenever it happens will be heavily scrutinized and it will be up to Simmons to change the narrative surrounding him.