No matter how you shake it up, the Ben Simmons controversy in Philadelphia remains explosive. The Sixers, and their lead executive Daryl Morey, continue to speak out about the situation at every provocation, leading to new rounds of speculation about the fate of the point guard and his franchise.
Earlier this week, Simmons reported to training camp after holding out, then was promptly suspended for refusing to participate in a drill. Now, per ESPN sources, he’s told the 76’ers that he’s not mentally ready to play. This prompted a response from Morey, summarized by The Athletic’s Derek Bodner, beat writer for the Sixers. In it, Morey insists that he will not be parting ways with Simmons easily, suggesting that the saga could continue for multiple seasons if necessary.
Daryl Morey on @975TheFanatic: “Would you rather eliminate what people perceive to be a distraction, or would you rather have better playoff odds? I’ll take playoff odds...Whatever we have to deal with that helps the Philadelphia 76ers win the title, we’ll do it.”
Morey on his timeline: “You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not. This could (go on for) 4 years. ... We’re in the prime of Joel’s career...Either Ben Simmons is playing for us, or we have to get back a difference maker.”
Meanwhile Simmons’ teammate Tobias Harris tried to calm the waters while showing compassion for his fellow player:
And we’ll respect his [Simmons’] privacy and space during this time. When he’s ready, we will embrace our brother with love and handle our business on the court. That’s it, that’s all.