Just when you thought the Ben Simmons story couldn’t get any weirder…
Simmons showed up unannounced to Philadelphia prior to their preseason game this week. He had been holding out for a trade all offseason, and was reportedly telling people he’d forego his entire paycheck if he wasn’t granted his wish.
But Ben Simmons arrived, and even allegedly engaged in a shouting match with Doc Rivers about what’s going to be expected of him based on the contract in place.
Doc Rivers, Ben Simmons Meeting Reportedly Included F-Bomb Exchange https://t.co/eOrck0oNyR
— SideAction (@SideActionHQ) October 13, 2021
To make matters even weirder, a report is coming out that indicated Ben Simmons went through great lengths to get out of the team’s Game 7 matchup against the Hawks last season.
“Simmons was being held out of the team’s shootaround, he told them, due to a possible exposure to a team masseuse, who’d returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test.
Several players were questioned about whether they’d seen her that morning, but only Simmons said that he had.
“He answered the question honestly, without thinking of the implications,” says one source close to Simmons.
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But according to multiple sources, many within the team questioned whether Simmons had actually seen the masseuse — or was just trying to get out of playing as he battled the basketball version of the yips.
Later in the day, the staffer and Simmons’ test results came back negative, according to sources, and he was cleared to play in the game. But he wasn’t in a good place, and neither were the Sixers.
“He was thrown,” the source says.”
Ben Simmons’ performance in Game 7 definitely looked like he didn’t want to be there, and I honestly wouldn’t be that surprised if he really tried to use COVID to get out of it altogether.
While Simmons has showed up in Philadelphia, things are bound to be awkward. He definitely still wants out, and I doubt his teammates are going to appreciate that energy hanging over them.
Things are only going to get worse for Ben Simmons over in Philly.