Much has been made of why Ben Simmons wants out of Philadelphia. One report indicates that 76ers fans are a rather significant reason.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst told SiriusXM NBA Radio that his understanding is Simmons does not want to play in front of Philadelphia fans. The issue is significant enough that Windhorst believes Simmons might be willing to report if not for the fact that he would have to face 76ers fans.
Ben Simmons is reportedly remaining firm on wanting out of the 76ers.
@WindhorstESPN tells @hoopscritic and @SamMitchellNBA that Simmons doesn’t intend on showing his face in Philadelphia again. pic.twitter.com/rVYY2kikgD
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) September 25, 2021
“It’s not just that he doesn’t want to play there anymore,” Windhorst said. “He doesn’t want to be in front of those fans. So for him, I don’t think he intends to ever show his face there again unless he’s part of the visiting team.
“Part of this is just a visceral thing. It’s not even about ‘I’m unhappy, get me out of here.’ I think he has instructed his agents, ‘I’m not showing up. I don’t want in front of those fans.'”
Simmons’ unhappiness is so deep that he reportedly turned down a visit from his teammates, who hoped to change his mind. It makes sense that this goes beyond simply the organization’s treatment of him, but it would be pretty remarkable for a player to detest his own fanbase that much.
Simmons wouldn’t be the first 76ers player to completely fall out with fans. Philadelphia sports fans are notoriously passionate and demanding, but you won’t see this level of mutual antipathy very often.