The Philadelphia 76ers’ impending reunion with starting point guard Ben Simmons is inevitably going to be a part of the team’s discussions, particularly during NBA media sessions. It is a distraction that the 76ers organization will have to deal with as they prepare for the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Questions about the Philadelphia 76ers' reactions to Ben Simmons’ expected presence in the next few days will hound all the players, coaches and front office no end. It is likely to continue until things become clearer as the season unfolds.
When asked about the assumptions of the team about when Simmons will show up for practice with the rest of his Philadelphia 76ers’ teammates, the veteran Danny Green had this to say:
“We’re not asking him to shoot jump shots. Just come in, be a pro and do your job, that’s what we expect of him. If he apologizes, cool.”
When Green was pressed about the importance of an apology from Simmons for the latter to earn the Philadelphia 76ers’ trust, he had this to emphasize:
“If he does, he does, if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. That doesn’t matter to us at this point. We just want everybody to come here to show up and do their part. Do their jobs. I’m not asking him to do anything different than he normally does. What he normally does, we’re very effective. We’re very good at it.”
It seems like the Philadelphia 76ers are willing to have a clean start with their All-Star teammate and go on with their preparations. How this all plays out on the court will have a bigger meaning than what the players are saying publicly right now.
Will Ben Simmons' presence affect the Philadelphia 76ers’ chemistry?
Ben Simmons has been with the Philadelphia 76ers for six years including this season. He is a constant, together with Joel Embiid, in the roster turnover that has defined the 76ers quest to become a true NBA title contender.
If chemistry is all about reps, there is no question that Simmons can and will easily catch up to the rest of the team's preparations to develop cohesiveness. However, the issue may not be about Simmons' reps at all.
If they can genuinely get past the seeming “disrespect” that Simmons showed in the back-and-forth with Embiid just a few weeks back, then there should be no issue with regards to chemistry. Basketball is still basketball and despite Simmons’ shortcomings, he is still a very talented player.
How Doc Rivers manages to get his troops to rally for a common cause, which is winning that elusive championship, will certifiably test his mettle as a coach.