Ben Simmons reportedly turned away teammates who wanted to meet about 76ers rift
With just days left before training camp opens, Ben Simmons made it clear he's done with the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons reportedly told teammates he did not want to meet with them over his feud with the organization, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Core players on the 76ers — including center Joel Embiid — were reportedly planning to fly from Philadelphia to Los Angeles to convince Simmons to return. Simmons reportedly told them not to come, as it would not change his mind.
Simmons reportedly did this out of courtesy to his teammates, according to Charania.
Tensions have run high since the 76ers loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs last season. Simmons drew plenty of criticism for his performance in the series, particularly for his unwillingness to shoot the ball and his failure to make crucial free throws.
It wasn't just fans who were frustrated with Simmons. Head coach Doc Rivers didn't give Simmons a ringing endorsement following the series. When asked whether Simmons could be a point guard on a championship team, Rivers said he didn't know. Embiid also criticized Simmons' play, calling out his refusal to shoot.
Rivers probably didn't help things Friday when he compared speaking to Simmons and his management to "talking to people who still think Trump won the election."
Ben Simmons reportedly requested trade from 76ers in offseason
Simmons said he wanted to remain in Philadelphia following that series, but his tone changed during the offseason. Simmons reportedly requested a trade, and has no interest in playing for the 76ers again. He's not expected to report to 76ers training camp when it begins Monday.
Turning down a meeting with teammates makes that even more of a certainty. The 76ers could wait Simmons out to test whether he would miss regular-season games, but a trade might be best for both sides at this point.