The Ben Simmons era in the city of Philadelphia came to an end right before the 2022 NBA trade deadline when Simmons headlined a package that went to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden. It marked the end of one of the more acrimonious sagas in recent NBA history — Simmons’ last game with the Sixers was the team’s Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 playoffs, and in the aftermath, a mix of back issues and his need to get mentally ready to play led to him sitting out until he was traded.
We still have not seen Simmons play with the Nets due to lingering back issues that required surgery, but still, the end of his tenure in Philly is one of the more unique things we’ve seen. And in a clip posted of an upcoming episode of J.J. Redick’s The Old Man and the Three, Simmons spoke about his feelings about the city, which he says are largely positive.
Here’s @BenSimmons25 on his relationship with the city of Philadelphia.
— TheOldMan&TheThree (@OldManAndThree) September 21, 2022
“People in Philly just wanna have something to say about f*cking anything, man,” Simmons said. “Like, everything, literally everything. I post a picture of a f*cking dog or car, I got reporters saying, ‘You should be in the f*cking gym.’ Come on, man. But, yeah, for sure, Philly is obviously a sports city, and my experience playing there was incredible. Like, for the most part, it was incredible. I had a great time, the fans are unbelievable. I still have an apartment there, so I do own some real estate in Philadelphia still. So I’m, you know, I feel like I’m a part of Philly still.
“But yeah, it’s just unique,” Simmons continued. “Like even being in Brooklyn now, it’s completely different. Like, this is a different experience for me. And you know, I value that time time I did spend in Philly, cause I was able to learn and grow in that city, and I got friends for life there. My brother lives there, like, I got family there. So yeah, Philly’s great, I think people have a thought that I hate it.”
Simmons and the Nets are slated to play in Philadelphia twice this year. Their first matchup is on Nov. 22, 2022, and a little more than two months later, Brooklyn will make the trek down on Jan. 25, 2023.