A report on Monday morning stated that the 76ers were unable to reach Ben Simmons during the offseason. When the Philadelphia Voice contacted the team for comment, team sources denied that this statement was true.
As part of a podcast interview by Steve Lipman and Dan Volpen on SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers blog, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report included this detail that he left on the editing room floor during the weekend report:
I will not write this in the story, but I will tell you that you can use it to do what you want. Since the end of the season, they have not even been able to really get in touch with Ben. It’s like, there is an intention for an exercise plan or anything else-like in any offseason.This is always the case, the 76ers cannot align with the development plan [for Ben] — This is what Yaron Weitzman wrote in the big story of Fox Sports. It sounds like no one has ever gathered together on the same page to do this, and it didn’t really work this summer. I think this is not an encouraging sign for his future stay in Philadelphia. [Liberty Ballers]
After the report was released, the Voice of Philadelphia contacted multiple team sources on Monday morning, but received very firm denials at every stop.
A source said: “We talked to Ben on his birthday a few days ago, and we stayed in touch with him throughout the summer.” “We will also send some trainers to see him this summer… Ben, his team and his family had a good conversation.”
At least recently, Simmons is not the hardest person to find in the world. After a second-round defeat in Philadelphia and a short pause on social media, Simmons has been active on his Instagram page last week, sharing photos and videos of his birthday celebrations and his new home in Los Angeles. On Sunday night, someone found Simmons lying next to the swimming pool in his new house, with red and blue lights shining under the water.
As Fischer mentioned in the above report, this is not the first time there have been rumors or whispers about Simmons’ compliance with the team’s wishes. Detailed report by Yaron Weitzman Earlier this summer, it was reported that Simmons did not participate in the organization plan to train him as a shooter, go his own way and eventually become where he is today. The 76ers usually deny any allegations of his cooperation or question his professional ethics.
With the 76ers making more trade requests for Simmons than ever, these rumors have more significance than ever. Although Simmons’ trade value was hit after another defeat in the playoffs, the 76ers have tried their best to maintain a strong position in the negotiations, reminding opposing executives that they will not break up with him just for this. One of the few things (perhaps the only thing) that can make their discipline useless is Simmons’ attempts to undermine their status by keeping a distance from the organization.
We seem to have not reached that place yet. But the longer this situation drags on, the more rumors and speculation are likely to fill the gap.
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