“It’s not the seventh or the eighth year”
After a long and endless offseason circus, Ben Simmons is officially back with the Philadelphia 76ers organization. When he will debut in the season has yet to be determined, but his teammates are vowed to play down the drama.
It might be easy for Joel Embiid and others to display a sense of restlessness or frustration, given that Simmons requested a trade and questioned his compatibility with this Sixers team. However, Doc Rivers and Co. is determined to move forward and focus on the season.
Ben Simmons trained with the 76ers for the first time on Sunday
Earlier in the offseason, it seemed like a guarantee Ben Simmons wouldn’t be with the 76ers at the start of the 2021-22 campaign. While Daryl Morey could still call on the rest of the NBA for business opportunities, it suddenly looks like the polarizing point guard will be opening the new season with the team that drafted him.
Despite previous business demands, Simmons visited camp for the Sixers last week. He had a first physical exam and took another step on Sunday, joining his teammates for training. Simmons attended the closed-to-media session and has yet to speak to reporters since returning to Philadelphia.
Rivers said it remains to be seen when the 25-year-old will make his debut, as the 76ers hope to level Simmons in terms of conditioning. Will it take time for Simmons to regain the faith of his teammates and find synergy with the Sixers on the court? Maybe, but the rest of the list are trying to be professional about his comeback.
Tobias Harris and others downplayed drama over Simmons’ return to court
There were times during this offseason where the dynamic between Ben Simmons and the 76ers felt like the slow burning of a college breakup. However, with Simmons’ return, Tobias Harris and the rest of his teammates are committed to avoiding little drama.
Harris was among those asked about his reactions to Simmons’ return to the ground. At first he smiled giving a sort of sarcastic “Everything was fine” response. The statement came dripping with sarcasm. Yet Harris has also made it clear (h / t Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times) that the Sixers will take matters into their own hands.
Harris said he never asked Simmons why he chose to return. Some players appeared indifferent to the subject. But others have expressed their enthusiasm for Simmons to join the fray.
Sixers forward Furkan Korkmaz said he “lackSimmons, by Moore, and said the familiarity of the rest of the roster with Simmons could benefit Philly this season. He noted that this roster is quite similar to last season’s squad, which finished first in the Eastern Conference. .
The 76ers advance. Will Simmons move forward as well?
Which version of Simmons will the 76ers have this season?
There are a number of ways that Ben Simmons could make his comeback.
Simmons may be back so he doesn’t miss out on in-game controls. There are a few questions about his vaccine status, which could further cloud his immediate availability and commercial value.
Alternatively, Simmons could choose to look beyond the drama and commit to being a winning player for a 76ers team who, when right, remain one of the toughest teams in the NBA. Despite all of his shortcomings, Simmons has made three consecutive All-Star teams and is arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA. It makes Philly better in the short term.
The 76ers could face some chemistry and adjustment issues in the near future. For now, however, they’re trying to minimize the noise surrounding Simmons’ return.
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