Ben Simmons Went In-Depth On His Infamous Pass In Game 7 Of Sixers-Hawks

One moment sticks out about everything else in the eventual parting of ways between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers. It came in Simmons’ last game with the team, a home Game 7 loss in the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Atlanta Hawks, and with less than four minutes to go in a tense matchup, Simmons passed up a layup to give the ball to Matisse Thybulle, who split of pair of free throws as the Hawks would go on to knock off the 1-seed.

Simmons received a ton of criticism for the moment from fans and Joel Embiid, and he has not played in a basketball game since, whether that’s for the Sixers or his new team, the Brooklyn Nets. Ahead of his expected return to the floor this season, Simmons made a cameo on former Philly teammate J.J. Redick’s podcast, The Old Man and the Three, to discuss that moment.

“In the moment, I just spun, and I’m just assuming Trae is gonna come over quicker,” Simmons said. “So I’m thinking he’s gonna come full blown, and I see Matisse going โ€” you know, Matisse is athletic, can get up, so I’m thinking, ok, quick pass, he’s gonna flush it, not knowing how much space there was.”

Simmons went on to say that he didn’t think much of it at the time, with his mindset being that he and the Sixers had to “go make another play.” He also said he did not realize how big of a deal it was, and that when he sees it now, he says to himself, “man, I should’ve just punched that sh*t.”

“But it didn’t happen, and I was ok with that, I can live with that, I can live with โ€” everyone’s trying to kill me over one play, like, does everyone wanna watch film with me?” Simmons said. “Like, the whole arena? I can dissect everything, if you guy want, but that’s not realistic.”

Simmons did not play in another game for the Sixers after this moment, and was traded to Brooklyn for James Harden at the trade deadline.