As expected, Ben Simmons was not present at Sixers Media Day on Monday and his absence was the subject of much discussion during press conferences with basketball operations president Daryl Moore, head coach Doc Rivers and Star Center Joel MBD, among others.
As PhillyVoice.com’s Kyle Newbeck Tweets, Mori confirmed that Simmons and his camp wanted a trade with the team as soon as the draft was assembled in Chicago this spring. However, the head of Philadelphia basketball activities insisted that the club did not want to trade then or now, suggesting that there was still “a lot of hope” for a reunion (Twitter link Via Chris Manix of SI.com).
Mori pointed to this year’s stalemate between the NFL’s Green Bay pacers and quarterback Aaron Rogers – who is still with the team – a relationship that seemed destined to end can still be fixed (Twitter link Via Michael Lee of the Washington Post). According to Mori, he has not spoken to Simmons in about six or seven weeks but has been in frequent contact with the 25-year-old delegates (Twitter link Via Neubeck).
Asked about the next steps if Simmons stays away from the team, Mori hinted at a fine, telling reporters that what happens in the Simmons deal and the NBA’s joint bargaining agreement is “very clear.”Twitter link Via Neubeck). What’s worth it, sources told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer that Simmons was not concerned about possible fines and that money was “not playing a role” in his decision.
Here’s more from Philadelphia:
- When asked about Simmons, MBED replied, “Of course we want to get him back, he’s a big part of what we’ve been building over the last few years” (Twitter link Via Newbeek). The Star Center added that he was “disappointed” with how the situation played out. “I really hope he will change his mind,” MBD said. “I love playing with him because he adds a lot to our team. We are building this team around us. I don’t see it as ‘this is my team’. I don’t care about any of that “(Twitter link Through Derek Bodner of Athletics).
- MBED said dealing with trade rumors is something all players need to learn to deal with (Twitter link Via ESPN’s Team Bontemps). “If the Warriors call Steff (Curry) and Clay (Thompson) for me, do you think the Sixers won’t say it?” MBD asked. “… I won’t say no to it.”
- MBD has confirmed that he and some teammates tried to travel to California to meet Simmons. As reported by The Athletic Weekend, Simmons declined that meeting. “I think we have to let him be his ownMBID said (Twitter link Via Neubeck).
- Larry Brown as Darren Albert in Sports Relay, in a recent episode of Danny Green His podcast – There has also been talk of trying to sit down with Simmons. “It has nothing to do with the organization,” Green said. “It’s related to us. We just want to meet him on a personal level, on a human, friend level. If he still thinks of us as friends, we don’t know if it’s still there.”
- If Simmons does not return, Rivers refuses to state his plans for the point guard position, but strongly suggests that Tires Maxi will be in line for the role. Tweets Bontemps.