Ben Simmons was a guest on JJ Redick’s podcast, “The Old Man and The Three.” No resounding statements from the Australian, who claims to have loved his years in Philadelphia but that his mental health had gradually deteriorated there, and that he had difficulty realizing it, the fault of “little things that piled up”.
The elimination against the Hawks in the playoffs, and the remarks of Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers on his performances in the series, having obviously been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“I was in such bad shape and I was like, ‘Damn, I’m trying to get out of this and you guys are throwing all these things at me. You are not helping me. And all I wanted was help” he assures. “I didn’t feel like I got any from my coaches, my teammates – I won’t say all of my teammates, because there are some great guys on this team who have stretched me hand and who are still my friends – but I didn’t feel like I received any, and it was just hard for me. »
The action that symbolized the break between Ben Simmons and the Sixers is ultimately this sequence in Game 7 of the series where, after a “spin move”, the Australian can dunk the ball but prefers to pass to Matisse Thybulle. Inevitably, JJ Redick questioned his former teammate about what had happened in his head.
“At the moment, I do my spin move, and I think Trae [Young] will arrive faster, so I think it will arrive at full speed, and I see Matisse [Thybulle] that moves. Matisse is athletic and can rise, so I was like, ‘OK, one quick pass, and he goes up to the circle’, not knowing how much space there was. It happened so fast we just have to do a read. In the playoffs, you have to make the right decisions most of the time. »
Ben Simmons recalls, however, that the Sixers did not lose the game because of this action, and if JJ Redick agrees that everything is going very quickly on the ground, the impression is really bad.
“It’s awful”recognizes Ben Simmons. “When I watch the action now, I’m like, ‘Man, I should have crushed that fucking circle. But that didn’t happen, and that was fine with me. I can live with that. »
If he does not finally say much about the long months of his standoff with the Sixers, Ben Simmons still claims to have had a bad experience of the leaks in the press from the club, which portrayed him in a bad light. He clearly had the feeling that Philadelphia had in mind to break him, rather than help him.
In particular, he explains that when Doc Rivers kicked him out of practice, he had explained to his coach that he was not mentally ready and that the technician had told him that he would not include him in the oppositions… before finally calling him from the start. It also ensures than the plane that was to take his teammates to Los Angeles to meet him on the eve of the “training camp” was just a publicity stunt. Present in California for months, Ben Simmons had had no news from his teammates during the summer and this publicized attempt to convince him at the last minute was therefore in his eyes only intended for public opinion.