The Philadelphia 76ers and All-Star Ben Simmons weren’t always on the same page last season.
According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft was so disconnected from the Sixers staff that he would work out on his own.
“In fact, team sources say, Simmons became so disillusioned with the Sixers staff, he did much of his work outside the facility under the watchful eye of trainer Chris Johnson,” MacMullan reported. “That erosion of trust only further contributed to the splintered chemistry on the floor and tension among coaches and players. Outsiders repeatedly suggested [Joel] Embiid and Simmons could not coexist, particularly within a lineup that provided poor spacing. Their divergent personalities led to speculation they disliked each other, yet, says one former Sixers staffer, it was more a disconnect than anything. ‘There just wasn’t a whole lot of communication,’ the source says.”
The Sixers got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 playoffs in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Fla.
Simmons, 24, did not participate in the duel agains the Celtics due to a knee injury.
While Simmons has been considered a central part of the 76ers’ future, he has found himself in trade rumors. The unrelenting rumors can take a toll on a player, especially when there are mixed messages.
Questions have surfaced about Simmons and Embiid’s fit together. In fact, one executive suggested that the franchise would have to ultimately pick between the two.
The Sixers would love to win a championship with Simmons helping run the show. He career averages of 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game.