As the drama around Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers continues, a local news channel in Philadelphia has taken it up a notch and compared him to a trash can. The move was viewed as excessive and unwarranted by many NBA fans while many Philly natives are sticking to their guns and staying with the "trash" narrative.
Ever since the 76ers blew the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, Ben Simmons has had a huge target on his back in the City of Brotherly Love. The Hawks deployed the "Hack-a-Simmons" strategy and it wrecked his confidence. He passed a wide-open layup/dunk and was visibly afraid to hold the ball because the Hawks would intentionally foul.
Now FOX 29, a local news channel in Philadelphia, has given the term 'toxic fanbase' a whole new meaning. They displayed footage of a trash can flowing in a river and called it Ben Simmons. The anchor said:
"We just got a footage of Ben Simmons leaving hastily out of Philadelphia...[let's take a look at this]... He hit his head on the way out"
Ben Simmons demands a trade out of the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia fans are booing Ben Simmons and want nothing to do with him. The Eastern Conference semifinal loss triggered trade rumors but now Simmons is the one that wants out. One has to wonder if the star even feels safe in that city anymore.
After the playoff loss, both coach Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid subtly blamed Simmons for the loss and implied he is not a good fit for the team. When asked if he can be a starting point guard for a championship team, Doc Rivers replied:
"Yeah...I don't know that question or the answer to that right now."
Meanwhile, when Embiid was asked what the turning point in the series was, he said:
"I'll be honest - I don't know how to say it - but I thought the turning point was we had an open shot, we missed and we made one free throw."
It does seem like Ben Simmons has played his last game in Philadelphia. Even Hall of Famer and arguably the best point guard of all time, Magic Johnson said that he cannot recover from what happened and he needs to leave the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ben Simmons is certainly being too harshly critiqued. The 24-year-old had one bad playoff series and the whole city turned against him. Many stars have had bad playoff runs that force them to improve their game but Simmons might not get that opportunity as the fans, team, and coaching staff reportedly want him out.
He is a terrific passer and a sublime defender who will be valued in any title-contending team.
Also Read: "Ben Simmons can't recover from this": Is Magic Johnson's criticism of the Philadelphia 76ers point guard justified or a knee-jerk reaction?