PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a heartbreaking end to the 2021 NBA season in South Philadelphia. The 76ers lost Game 7 to the Atlanta Hawks in the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs Sunday night.
Ben Simmons’ future in Philadelphia immediately became a hot topic, as his offensive skills were almost nonexistent throughout the Hawks series. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reports that a source “very, very close” to the situation in Philadelphia says Simmons “doesn’t work, he doesn’t listen, and everybody around him is family, and he’s constantly babied.”READ MORE: Philadelphia Police: Woman Pedestrian Struck, Killed By Chaotic Driver In Center City, Others Injured In Second Hit-And-Run
"I just received a text from somebody very, very close to the situation in Philadelphia about Ben Simmons. … ‘He doesn’t work, he doesn’t listen, and everyone around him is family, and he’s constantly babied.’"
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 22, 2021
Sixers’ head coach Doc Rivers isn’t giving up on Ben Simmons.
“I still believe in him, but we have work to do,” Rivers said. “We’re going to have to get in the gym, put a lot of work in and go forward.”
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) June 21, 2021
Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey also spoke on the Simmons situation.
“We have a very strong group we can believe in,” Morey said in a press conference Tuesday. “None of us can predict the future. We love what Ben brings.”
Morey on if Ben Simmons will be on the #Sixers next season: "We have a very strong group we can believe in. None of us can predict the future. We love what Ben brings."
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) June 22, 2021READ MORE: CDC's New Mask Guidance In Schools Creates Tense Moments At Central Bucks Board Meeting
Morey also said that “everyone has to look at themselves and figure out how to improve,” when asked about Simmons’ foul shot woes. Simmons shot 25-73 throughout the playoffs — missing 27 against the Hawks alone.
Daryl Morey on Ben Simmons improving from the free throw line: "The reality is that everyone has to look at themselves and figure out how to improve.”
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) June 22, 2021
His teammates are also sticking by Ben. Dwight Howard posted a video on his Instagram account saying people should, “spread more love not hate.”
In the 21-minute-long video, Howard mentions that Simmons is only 24 years old and is still learning who he is as a person.
“I don’t think it’s right that everybody has been sending this man bad messages and all this negativity. And I think it sucks. We’re supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love and the best thing we can do is just send him some positivity,” Howard said.
Danny Green also had his teammates back, saying he wasn’t the only reason the 76ers lost the series.MORE NEWS: 'Everyone Keeps Passing The Buck': Tree Threatens Philadelphia Family's Home With No Help In Sight
“It’s not just Ben. We all together win or lose,” Green said. “He’s a mentally tough kid, usually. We don’t know what was going on. It happens with players. Ben has gone through quite a bit this year and it’s not his fault that we lost. Everybody is going to say if Ben had made this, if I had made some shots in Game 1 or so-and so made some shots … we can’t harp on one player.”