The NBA Finals are down to the wire, and Ben Simmons’ Philadelphia 76ers are on the verge of their first championship. It’s been a wild ride for Sixers fans who have seen their team go from worst-to-first in the span of one season.
The barstool philly instagram is a popular Instagram account that posts pictures of Philadelphia sports fans outside the stadium.
After months of radio silence and heavy drama, Ben Simmons drove up to the Wells Fargo Center to rejoin the 76ers on Monday night, surprising the city of Philadelphia.
For Philly supporters and NBA fans around the nation, the news was shocking, but no one was more surprised than the Sixers themselves. Simmons returned to the arena without informing the team, and general manager Elton Brand only learned about it when he got a text message saying his All-Star point guard was outside waiting to be allowed in.
The Simmons story simply keeps getting stranger and stranger.
Ben Simmons makes an unexpected comeback to the 76ers.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons clasp hands after a game against the Brooklyn Nets | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Simmons spent the most of the 2023 offseason in Los Angeles, awaiting a trade from the team that had selected him No. 1 overall in 2016. Simmons sought a trade from the 76ers in June, and he hasn’t spoken with the front office since then.
The three-time All-Star stayed in California for the first two weeks of the preseason in the hopes of finalizing a contract before the start of the regular season. He allegedly said that he would not report back to the club until a deal had been completed. However, Simmons’ trade value has fallen to the point where the Sixers would be worse off accepting even the finest offer now on the table.
Daryl Morey, the president of basketball operations, called Simmons’ bluff by refusing to deal him at all. Simmons eventually folded his hand after a long staredown.
According to ESPN’s Wojnarowski, Adrian, Simmons traveled back to Philadelphia on Monday night and took a COVID-19 exam inside the Wells Fargo Center to begin the process of rejoining the club for the 2023-22 season. Sixers supporters were understandably surprised by the news, as they had assumed Simmons’ time in Philly was over.
His presence took even the 76ers’ front staff off surprise.
Ben Simmons didn’t inform the 76ers that he would be in town on Monday night.
Simmons kept his Monday trip to Philadelphia a secret from everyone in the 76ers organization, which is maybe the most shocking twist in this strange tale. When Simmons arrived, the players and coaches were in the midst of a preseason game, so they didn’t learn about the news until after the final bell.
Coach Doc Rivers said in his postgame news conference that Wojnarowski’s article was his sole source of information on the issue.
Rivers quipped, “I’m going to contact Woj and find out what’s going on.”
Later, Wojnarowski went on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt and stated that not even the general manager was aware that Simmons would be in town on Monday.
The 76ers began the morning by speaking with Ben Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, regarding his arrival. He was expected to arrive later in the week, according to Philadelphia. And then, just before the start of the Brooklyn-Philly preseason game tonight, I’m told that Elton Brand, the Sixers general manager who works with Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers, receives a text message that basically says, “Hey, Ben’s outside the building.” He must enter in order to take his COVID exam.’ That’s how the Sixers learned that Ben Simmons had returned to Philadelphia after two weeks away during the preseason.
Incredible. Simmons just did a George Costanza in the NBA, and it really worked.
The 76ers’ best-case scenario
Although the 76ers’ hardcore supporters who followed Simmons to LA with pitchforks in their hands may be disappointed that he’s returned, his return is the best-case situation for the team.
Consider that for a moment.
In a deal, no club was willing to offer the Sixers the star they want in exchange for Simmons. Any trade made this offseason would have hampered the team’s pursuit for an NBA championship. And, if Simmons had followed through on his intention to sit out the season, the Phillies would have begun the season without a starting point guard and with $33 million in dead salary space in Los Angeles.
This does not imply that Simmons will be retained for the remaining four years of his contract. It’s conceivable that he has another All-Star performance in the first half of the season, which the Sixers can use to make a blockbuster deal at the deadline that isn’t now accessible.
Whether 76ers fans like it or not, having Simmons on the court for the club’s home opener on Oct. 22 is a dream situation for the team. Just don’t boo him too loudly, or he’ll get back on a plane and not return this time.
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RELATED: Ben Simmons is said to be so fed up with the Philadelphia 76ers that he would welcome a trade to the NBA’s Most Dysfunctional Team.
Hey, Ben’s outside the building is a sports blog that is written by a man named Ben. The blog talks about sports in general and also has some funny posts. Reference: smitty barstool.
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