He has done nothing in his time here to earn the right to force his way to another team.
Ben Simmons has demanded a trade from the Sixers. To that, we say good riddance.
Since drafting Ben with the first overall pick in 2016, we’ve embraced his disappointments at every turn. Did he disappear in the second round of the playoffs against Boston in 2018? No worries, he’s young, he’ll get there.
In 2019, Ben went AWOL again in the second round against the Raptors. Did we decide enough was enough? No, we decided to keep him over Jimmy Butler, in a decision that has aged well.
During the past four seasons, we pretended to believe in every offseason video of Ben shooting 3-pointers. We justified every postseason disappearing act as growing pains. We somehow convinced ourselves that our point guard did not need to be able to shoot. Who wants a point guard who can do that?
Ben, you created this situation by failing to develop any diversity in your offensive game since entering the NBA. Where are your post moves? Where is your mid-range shot? Why were you so afraid to get to the basket against the Hawks?
Despite you having the worst playoff performance of any NBA All-Star in recent memory, the fans still cheered you on to make free throws as though you were a toddler picking up a basketball for the first time.
The team has catered to you at every turn, surrounding you with shooters, and Joel Embiid even learned how to shoot 3s to help space the floor with you. The Sixers front office wanted to develop an offseason plan to help you work on your game.
Oh, you’re upset that Embiid and Doc Rivers obliquely called you out in the post-game press conference? You want to play in LA? Can you imagine how LeBron would have reacted to you refusing to dunk on Trae Young in the playoffs? Let alone Shaq, who said he would knock you out?
After your implosion in the playoffs, you now think you should be rewarded with a new team in California! I hope the Sixers make you hold out for the season and you miss paychecks for every game. Or send you to toil away in obscurity in Minnesota.
Philly has a reputation for being hard on its athletes. After how we overindulged Ben Simmons and Carson Wentz, trading their rivals out of the city, Philly has gone too far in the other direction. We now have a problem of coddling our putative stars who take no responsibility for their failings.
In Philly, we want our athletes to shed their blood, sweat, and tears on the court. Or at least show they care. It never felt like you did.
Be gone Ben, you don’t deserve us.