Ben Simmons trade saga was the Philadelphia 76ers main story line for the first four months of the 2021-22 season. After a disappointing ending to the Sixers’championship hopes in the 2021 NBA playoffs, Simmons did not play again for the team.
Simmons requested a trade, and he emphasized that he wouldn’t suit up for the 76ers again, even if he had to boost his trade value to make the process quicker. At the time, many believed that a rocky relationship between Simmons and Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers had something to do with the trade demand.
Rivers’ postgame comments after Game 7 made many think he no longer believed in Simmons as the comment was blown out of context. Rivers, however, claimed that this wasn’t the case and the playmaking forward assured him of that in a conversation just after Simmons’ trade request was granted.
“That one comment thing had nothing to do with why Ben wanted to leave,” said Rivers on The VS Show With Vince Carter( h/t Bleacher Report). “Let me just say that. It was a lot of things, as Ben told me and publicly now, that happened long before I got there. What frustrated me was that I still think it shouldn’t have been enough to want to leave. I just didn’t.”
“What frustrated me was that I still think it shouldn’t have been enough to want to leave,” Rivers explained. “I just didn’t, and I told Ben that. I kept telling him that. This is not why you want to leave a team. You work these things out. They didn’t get worked out, so we’ve had one talk. Not a long, long talk, but we did have one good talk.”
Several reports were suggesting Simmons and fellow Sixers superstars Joel Embiid did not have a good relationship especially after the 2021 NBA playoffs. Simmons didn’t publicly detail why he forced his way out of Philadelphia.
However, he did tell reporters in February after he was traded to the Nets that his reasoning “wasn’t about the fans or coaches or comments made by anybody” but was a “personal reasons” that piled up through the years.
Simmons sat out the entirety of last season due to injury, but he’s hoping to be ready for the start of the 2022-23 campaign.