Ben Simmons’ 76ers holdout ended over a year ago, but the scars he inflicted in Philadelphia run deep.
Just ask Philly’s Georges Niang, who was very candid when discussing his old teammate this week during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s The John Kincade Show.
“I got a lot to say about that,” Niang said when asked about the differences between last year’s Sixers team and this year’s roster.
“Well, Ben Simmons kind of handicapped us at the beginning of last year. I mean, I wasn’t gonna say it, but now, you know what I mean?
“When you’re building rosters, talking from a general manager standpoint – I don’t know how much [Simmons] makes, but it’s a max contract. So you immediately take that off the books, ‘I’m not playing,’ you have to figure it out where other role players have to step up and replace, you know, the passing, dribbling, rebounding, defense.”
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Fortunately for the Sixers, they were somehow able to get James Harden in exchange for Simmons, with the latter not working out well at all for the Brooklyn Nets.
Simmons has struggled to regain his confidence in Brooklyn, averaging career lows in points (6.9), rebounds (6.3) and assists (6.1).
Just to top it off, he had fluid drained from his left knee and received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection during the All-Star break, while also missing his third straight game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.