Philadelphia 76ers

Opinion: The Sixers Need To Be Patient With Ben Simmons

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There needs to be calm in the Sixers organization. Trade rumors are flying about Ben Simmons but the team, and its fans, would be wise to stay patient.

For all of the “process” years, it was chaos, each and every day. No one ever knew what exactly was going to happen. During Sam Hinkie’s tenure, there wasn’t a time that you knew whether a player would be on the team the very next day. Through the Colangelo mess and right into Elton Brand, you can’t say that it was much better.
This past season saw Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers come into the fold for the team, and that is to provide basketball knowledge and stability.

While I’ve maintained, the past few years, that the Sixers wouldn’t be truly a competitor for the NBA Title until this past season, that doesn’t mean that one year should make or break the team. This past season saw the arrival of some veteran leadership in Dwight Howard and Danny Green and the arrival and success of Seth Curry. Matisse Thybulle, while not developing into a scorer as of yet, became one of the league’s better defenders.

Shake Milton had his ups and downs, as did Furkan Korkmaz, but they both continued to develop. Tyrese Maxey came on strong at the end of the year, Tobias Harris had another great year under Rivers’ coaching, and Joel Embiid, short of missing time during the regular season, was a true MVP candidate throughout the year. Which leaves us with Ben Simmons. The issue with Simmons, which has been blown through the roof as of late, is that he’s not aggressive and seems to actually not want to score. (I’m well aware of the pass to Thybulle in the playoffs, so don’t bring it up.)

Simmons, under Brett Brown, was learning the role of point guard at the NBA level while playing in the NBA. This isn’t easy to do, and he’s become quite good at it. Last season, with the number of players that the team had, who could score and shoot the ball, Simmons was tasked with running the offense, finding the open man, and becoming one of the better defenders in the league. By the end of the year, he’d accomplished all of those things and gone well beyond becoming a very good defender to actually becoming the best defender in the league.

So, why give up on him? There’s no reason. Simmons recently turned 25 years old, and to hear the average Sixers fan talk about it, he’s washed up and will never be anything in the league. Except, he’s already the best defensive player in the league, a three-time All-Star, DPOY finalist, and possesses tremendous court vision and passing ability.
Recently, the word has come that the Sixers were opening up their phone lines regarding Simmons being moved to another team. As any team would listen to offers, the Sixers have and should be holding on to Ben.

This season, after the past year’s ups and downs, it’s a simple fix for the team and Simmons. Doc Rivers just needs to tell him that he’s required to shoot the ball. That he has to take shots, has to be aggressive around the basket, and that there can’t be any more of the six-point nights where he takes only four shots.

Too many times in the city, you see the fans overreact to players. Allen Iverson is probably one of the most beloved athletes to ever put on a Sixers uniform, but, and it happens all of the time, people still bring up the whole “talking about practice” situation. There were always sideways comments about him being too small, his shot selection, etc. When he was gone, the city missed him, and they will if the team decides that it’s time to move on from Simmons, as well.

He has accomplished a lot in the few years he’s played here and has been doing the things that have been asked of him. This upcoming year, the time is right for him to take another step and start scoring. It’s needed, not for the city or its fans, but for him to be a more successful and more complete player.

It’s time to realize that maybe it’s not the player that is the problem. Fans in the city are too comfortable booing, making comments, or acting boorishly. It might be time to stop pointing fingers at players that are here, trying to do their best, playing a game that they’ve dedicated their life to. Because, as soon as they’re gone, and they thrive somewhere else, your tune always changes, and you start to hear the “I knew he’d be great” nonsense.
I’m not saying that fans can’t or shouldn’t boo or give the team a hard time when it’s deserved, but there needs to be some sort of common sense involved.

Maybe after the way athletes in the city have been treated and it’s not worked, try something different.
Cheer on your team, support the players in the good and bad times and make it so that you appreciate the stars we have while we have them.

As far as Ben Simmons goes, this year will be incredible for him, and he will take the next step in his development. The scary part is that it could be for another team, and it won’t be because of any fault of his own. The team, its fans, the city, and the management, should be practicing a bit of patience. It will pay off in the end.

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Born and raised in Fishtown, I write.

11 comments

  • fuhhkthis says:

    I’m aware of the Thybulle pass so “don’t bring it up”

    “It’s not “Ben Simmons'” fault it’s the fans’!”

    This article isn’t worth printing out to wipe my ass on. (My body didn’t know whether to chuckle or vomit at the Allen Iverson comparison)

    In a nutshell, it’s everyone else’s fault, including the fans!! Because it’s so hawd finding fans who celebrate failure.

    Counterpoint: maybe it’s *your* fault. Maybe he’s been coddled long enough. Maybe the focus should be less general amazement that he learned to play (3/4ths of a) point guard and more that a starting point guard in the NBA could go 4-14 at the line in the offs.

    Maybe **EVERY**thing else is smokescreen bullshit.

    Or maybe the world is too unkind to poor Ben Simmons. If James Naismith had only made the ball less round, or given points for effort.

    If only shooting the ball was a skill that could be improved upon outside of the gym, like somewhere on Instagram or on one of his random C-list celebrity appearances 🤷🏽‍♂️

    Stfu with the excuses. I hope Rich Paul cut you a check for this

  • george ceranic says:

    Your comments are ridiculous. We have been waiting 5 years for the big baby to shoot. That includes the first season when he did not play and did not work on his game at all. He has been ignoring everybody the whole time. What makes you think this time will be different-another shooting video

    • Charles Barkley says:

      You are clueless. Your basketball IQ is nonexistent. You would have chased Giannis out of town after 6 seasons. He won the championship in 8 seasons. This article is spot on – patience is key.

  • Jay says:

    Absolutely right. He has developed every season in some way… when he first came into the league his handle was loose… he worked on that, then he worked on taming the flashy passes and the jumping passes so he became a better decision maker, his defense wasn’t always as good as it is now he worked on that one off-season, he became stronger to help finish through contract another, he’s one of the better rebounding guards, he’s going to work on his shooting this year he’s to prideful not to after being embarrassed on a national stage like he was and having jokes made about him all around the world from everyone who saw what happened with him in the playoffs…Embiid had to go through it last year about being out of shape all the time and shot selection before he worked on himself in those ways. He’ll be fine lebron didn’t become this great and put it all together until he was 26…. the same with Embiid… the same with Giannis and a lot of other players. Some show offensive talent before that age and some defensive but not many become complete players until they are 26 or 27 and that’s the age most start winning championships. Its hard to win a championship as a young player 25 or under on a home grown team against more seasoned players who are closer to or slightly past 30 that have figured their games out when you’re still figuring out yours and maturing. He’ll be fine.. he’ll play better his pride won’t allow him not to and the 76ers will be fine if they keep working with him on what they need to see improvement in both for him to be successful in his career and for them to be successful as a team.

    • bryan rIch says:

      Thank you bro ! That entire situation is way overblown. i bad series and his career is over at 25yrs old. Patience is key Look at what the Bucks did. Giannis has been in league for 8yrs
      Showed up small every year in the playoffs till this year. Philly loves hard but we gotta be patient with every chess moves. One bad trade and it ruin us just lije Houston Rockets.

      thanks for the balanced narrative. great article.

  • DG says:

    First, amen! I’m a Philly fan who can’t stand Philly fans!

  • Mitch M says:

    Trae Young is a 36% shooter.

    Trae shot 42% against Ben Simmons.
    He shot 32% against the rest of the 76ers.

    Yeah, best defender in the NBA.
    Wow

  • Andre Masud says:

    I am a lifer when it comes to all Philly teams and I am from Wilmington, DE. I have to admit, I loss some confidence in Ben Simmons. Your argument for keeping him was well constructed and simply outstanding. I basically agree with you and believe he will take the next step in his development as an outstanding player. People get caught up in the wins and losses and maybe forget we’re all human. Ben obviously list some confidence in the playoffs. He’s human and it’s unreasonable to expect someone never, ever to lose confidence. Keep Ben Simmons and watch him grow and develop to be an even greater player than he already is. Guess I an perhaps others can get off the “push all the chips in” to get a Damian Lillard type player to replace Ben or Dame Time himself.

  • OB_Resident says:

    Management is being patient. It’s the fan base that isn’t. People need to recognize there were several reasons other than Simmons why the Hawks beat the Sixers.

  • I miss Bobby Jones says:

    Oh, so the Coach just needs to tell him to shoot the ball. GENIUS!! Why didn’t Doc think of that last season? Or the Coach who got canned before Doc, in large part because Ben didn’t shoot the ball that year? So I guess no one has told him to shoot the ball? Not one coach? Not one teammate? He has never heard the fans yelling, “Shoot!!”? Ben has an attitude problem. An overpaid petulant child, who refuses to take a shot because everyone is telling him to do so. HE doesn’t know he needs to shot the ball more than ZERO times in a quarter?

    This was the YEAR!! All the injuries to other teams fell right for the Sixers. Move him for whatever you can get. An average player will bring more to the team than this SSINO (Superstar in Name Only)

    • PAUL SCHEB says:

      Beat it with this nonsense. Sure, great defender. Not enough overall to be the generational talent he was billed as. He’s constantly guarded by opponents at least 5+ inches shorter than him and he has ZERO clue on how to back them down! He never needed a jumper past 10 ft in my book,.. just hit 70% from the stripe and utilize the ever-present size advantage he has on his defenders. He does neither. Bye bye. He doesn’t want to be here anyway

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