Nets’ Ben Simmons shares his side of the 76ers story, saying infamous pass play vs. Hawks ‘looks awful’


in a interview on JJ Redick’s podcast, “The Old Man and The Three”, Ben Simmons said he didn’t wish he had done anything else during his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers — even on That play.

“No, because I wouldn’t be here,” Simmons told his former teammate. “I don’t think you can say, ‘Yeah, I wish I went up there and dunked the ball, because that was the whole game’ — like, come on. No, I guess if I didn’t go through what I did last If I’ve been through it for a year and a half, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Initially, Redick Simmons didn’t have to ask directly about the infamous pass until Matisse Thybullea in Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks. After Simmons mentioned it, Redick said that “for whatever reason, that’s the play everyone is talking about.” Simmons joked that it was “the hundred point basket”, then explained the sequence from his perspective, just like he did after the game: he flipped the baseline and mistakenly assumed that Trae Young and Danilo Gallinari would both be there to dispute his shot passed to Thybulle.

“I think, OK, quick pass, he’s going to flush, not knowing there was a lot of room,’ Simmons said. “It happened so fast that you just read. And in the playoffs you usually have to make the right decisions. And for that moment, I mean, bro, it happened and I was like, OK, f—, now we have to make another play. That’s what I’m thinking. I didn’t realize how everyone posts. I’m like, it was so big?”

Redick acknowledged that Simmons was changing the baseline and didn’t necessarily know how open he was. He also told Simmons that it looks really bad on video.

“Yeah, I know,” Simmons said. “F —, it looks awful. When I look at it now, I’m like, man I should have just hit that shit. But it didn’t happen. And I was okay with that. I can live with that. I can live with it, okay, everyone tries to kill me in one play. Anyone want to watch a movie with me? Like the whole arena? I can dissect everything if you want. But that’s not realistic.”

Simmons and Redick played together in Philadelphia from 2017 to 2019. On the podcast, they laughed about Simmons recruiting Redick via text message during the 2016-17 season, Redick’s senior year with the Los Angeles Clippers. “You actually messed up,” Redick said. The two fondly reminisced about the Sixers’ 16-game winning streak to close out the 2017-18 regular season, a period during which Simmons was the star of the show because Joel Embiid was sidelined. “For me, that’s basketball,” Simmons said. “Growing up in Australia, the way we play is just fundamental – of course not everyone is super athletic, when you come to the States it’s different – ​​but it moves the ball, it cuts, it passes, it runs. what basketball is.”

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Those good times didn’t last. Simmons, now a member of the Brooklyn nets, requested a trade after the loss to the Hawks and got into a public confrontation with the Sixers when he told them he wasn’t mentally ready to play. Redick asked if the Atlanta series exacerbated the problems he already had.

“I think it was like, you know, I already have a lot going on mentally, just in life, like a lot of people do,” Simmons said. “But it got to a point where after that series I — it’s like from the people you should have the support of, or that comfort from. And I didn’t get that either. So it was just a lot, it was a toll of me. And then mentally, I – it killed me. I was like, f–, like I had no energy for anything. I was in a dark place. And it took me a long time. The first for me was really identifying, like, okay, I have to be right. And it’s not something physical. It’s mental.”

Simmons said recognizing it was “a huge step for me.” Now he is “in a great place,” he said. “And I’m comfortable talking about it now. But those were some dark days for me. And most of all, you know, damn, everything is public. That’s the crazier part. But yeah. Everyone goes through different struggles, some bigger than others, but everyone has their own fights. And I think that was hard for me because I knew I didn’t really have that support from teammates or whatever it was at the time.”

Redick said that while he loves Embiid and Doc Rivers, “they essentially threw you under the bus after Game 7. There’s no question about that.”

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“Sure,” Simmons said. ‘Secure. Yes.’

About getting fined for not playing, Simmons said: “It’s not about the money for me now. I want peace and happiness. I want to be in a good place. cost me, that’s what it’s going to cost My peace is worth more than money.”

When he showed up late to training camp and Rivers kicked him out of the gym, Simmons said, “At least I was trying to do the right thing. Like, doing good by what the f—, the team, my teammates, then what also whoever it is But I was trying to do the right thing And I just wasn’t in that place to play I wasn’t I just couldn’t And when I got kicked out of that practice that day I was actually spoke to Doc before training. I thought, ‘Doc, I’m not ready. Mentally I’m not ready. Please understand.’ I tried to let him know ahead of time and he said, “Well, I’m going to put you in anyway.” I’m like, ‘Okay.’

“He told me to go in,” Simmons continued. “I looked at him. It was like a minute into practice. Like, ‘Ben, get in.’ First, nobody does that, you do this on purpose And that’s how I felt I was like, OK, it seems like everyone is just trying to fuck me now. I get fined for not lifting weights, but physically I’m one of the strongest guys on the damn team. So I’m like, now they fine me for little things. It was just a build-up of — I didn’t do things the right way, of course, but neither did the team. And the people who had that power.”

Redick asked Simmons if he and the organization had irreconcilable differences.

“Yes and no,” Simmons said. “I was trying to get to a good place for myself personally to get back on the ground. So it was never a match — getting on the ground was my priority. And I was trying to get myself to a place where I was mentally good to do that.” And I was in such a bad place where I thought, f—, I try to get here and you throw all these other things at me where you don’t help. And that’s all I wanted was help. I didn’t feel like I got it from coaches, teammates – I won’t say all teammates because there are great guys on that team who have contacted them, they are still my friends. But I didn’t feel like I did. And it was just a tough place for me.”

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on the report from The Athletic that most of those teammates wanted to fly to Los Angeles and convince him to rejoin the team In late September, Simmons said, “Now you want to fly out when training camp starts? For example, I was in LA for months. Nobody came. There was nobody. You could have come. Now you want to make public that you flew away? That’s bullshit. Nobody got on that plane. Come on, man. That’s the truth. There were guys in LA who didn’t say anything to me.”

Despite all this, Simmons said he is “for the most part” a… “incredible” time in Philadelphia. He also said that he was not himself in the Hawks series.

“It was a build up over time,” Simmons said. “I was kind of like deflecting. I just pushed it aside and didn’t talk about my sanity. And I was — it’s hard to do that when you don’t really know, like, f—, why I feel this way “Why do I feel this way? Just different things. And once I could really handle it, I was like, oh shit, I have to — I want to make myself right, I want to go to a mentally good place and my work can do and learn to properly deal with the things I’m dealing with and not go into a downward spiral because there are a lot of people who go through it and never say anything about it.”

Simmons has not played in a NBA game since that series, and he had back surgery in May. In the podcast, he said he “can’t wait” to hit the track. He also invited Redick to retire and sign with the Nets.