Monday, October 3, 2022

NBA GM rips up ‘unhelpful’ Nets star after leaving team

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Friction between Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons and his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, may have started after a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 playoffs. Simmons missed a wide-open layup in the 4th quarter on a crucial possession that ultimately decided the game.

In the post-game interview, Sixers star Joel Embiid appeared to shout out to Simmons when asked about the game’s turning point, replying, “We had an open shot and we took a free throw.”

That moment was the turning point in a month-long saga between the Sixers and Simmons that ultimately led to him being traded to the Nets in exchange for James Harden. In his most recent interview, Sixers general manager Daryl Morey appears to question Simmons’ ability to play in a city like Philadelphia.

“I would say the biggest surprise is the players who can’t play here. It’s actually not helpful to me,” Morey told John Clark on The Takeoff podcast.

“The more opportunities I have, the better. But I think I’m starting to learn, and I love Philadelphia because I think it brings out the best in our team. And I haven’t just seen it with our team, the Eagles and the Phillies.”

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The city of Philadelphia is known for having one of the most passionate fanbases when it comes to sports. And their passion isn’t just limited to players on the opposing team.

If one of them doesn’t live up to the city’s standards, the fans will let them know about it as well. They only did it last year when the Sixers were blown out by the Nets on their own floor. Morey admits that gaming in Philadelphia is “different” than other major market cities.

“And I never understood being in Houston when people were like, ‘Oh, you have to have a special attitude to play in Philly. You have to have a special mindset to maybe play in New York.” Although I think that’s less true,” Morey continued.

“Honestly, I can only speak to Philadelphia because I’ve been here now. I think I really pay attention to the mindset of the players. Can they handle playing in Philadelphia? Because I think it’s a different matter.”

The Game 7 that started the friction between Simmons and the Sixers was the last game he played in a Sixers uniform. He chose to sit out before being traded to the Nets on Feb. 10.

As a result, the Sixers didn’t pay Simmons for the time he sat out, causing him to lose nearly $20 million of his 2021-22 salary. He filed a complaint in April to get those funds back.

However, in a surprising turn of events, the Sixers settled with the newly acquired Nets star on Aug. 15 for an undisclosed amount, according to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Ben Simmons and his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, have reached a settlement on the complaint Simmons filed to recover a portion of the nearly $20 million he was awarded 2021-22 season due to his failure to play games, sources told ESPN on Monday,” Wojnarowski said.

All eyes will be on Simmons to see how he fares for the Nets since he hasn’t played an NBA game in over a year. For Brooklyn’s sake, he must face the situation.

All eyes will be on Simmons to see how he fares for the Nets since he hasn’t played an NBA game in over a year. For Brooklyn’s sake, he must face the situation.

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