Ben Simmons opens up about his time with the Philadelphia 76ers for the first time

Ben Simmons has given his first interview since the 2020 playoffs. The Nets guard talked about the turbulent last year in Philadelphia and how it went from his point of view.

“It was a dark time for me,” Simmons said on the JJ Redick podcast, The old man and the threein his first interview in over two years, “I wanted to come back and I had all this stuff thrown at me, which wasn’t very helpful. That’s what I needed: help.”

Simmons addressed these words to his coaches, but also to various teammates, while at the same time emphasizing that he received support from some colleagues during this time. After the 2020 playoffs, where he believes Simmons was scapegoated, the Aussie did not play a game for the Sixers and returned from a pre-season strike for just two training sessions, during which he was kicked out by coach Doc. Rivers thrown.

“I wanted to do the right thing,” Simmons said of his then-surprising performance. “I talked to Doc [Rivers, Coach der Sixers; Anm. d. Red.] before practice and told him I wasn’t ready, primarily mentally.” According to Simmons, Rivers insisted that Simmons play and later ejected the player because Simmons was not practicing according to the coach’s expectations.

“I thought it’s not something you do. It was on purpose and that’s how it felt. It felt like he was embarrassing me. I was being punished for not lifting weights. I was there, I’m a of the strongest players on the team. I was constantly punished for little things. I’ve definitely made mistakes during that time, but so have the team and the people who have an impact on the franchise.”

Ben Simmons is looking forward to the season with the Brooklyn Nets

Simmons later stated that he had mental health problems, but he would not accept the help of the doctors in Philadelphia. Instead, the Sixers punished the Australian by stopping paying him. The case went to trial, and Simmons received at least a portion of the $20 million he was stripped of during that time in a compromise.

By his own admission, money is not the top priority anyway. “I don’t care. I want my peace and joy in life. I want to be at peace with myself, and if it costs me money, so be it. My inner peace is more important to me than money.”

The upcoming season is a fresh start for Simmons. The Sixers traded the former top pick to Brooklyn in February, but Simmons has yet to play for the Nets due to a back injury. They’ve had a turbulent offseason with all the drama surrounding Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, but Simmons is looking forward to the new challenge.

“It’s going to be really cool, I can’t wait. I have a new number, a new jersey (…) If everything goes together, we’ll win the championship. That must be the goal.”

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