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The last time Ben Simmons played for the Philadelphia 76ers, he contributed to one of the team's most disappointing losses in recent history.

As the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Sixers were in championship or bust mode during the 2021 NBA Playoffs. After drawing a first-round series against the Washington Wizards, the Sixers put their opponent away in five games.

When the Sixers met with the Atlanta Hawks in the second round, they were favored to take the series over their fifth-seeded opponent. However, the series went to a Game 7, and the Sixers dropped the do-or-die matchup at home, which caused a significant shift on Philadelphia's roster.

The three-time All-Star Ben Simmons mentioned he loved playing for the Sixers and didn't intend to look for a fresh start after Game 7. A few days later, it turned out that wasn't the case.

Not only did Simmons request a trade, but he made it clear that he wouldn't suit up for the 76ers again, even if he had to boost his trade value to make the process quicker.

At the time, many believed that a rocky relationship between Simmons and Philadelphia head coach Doc Rivers had something to do with the young star wanting out. After all, Rivers' postgame comments after Game 7 made many think he no longer believed in Simmons as the comment was blown out of proportion.

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Fast forward over a year since Rivers made that critical comment, the head coach confirmed that after Simmons was granted his wish to be traded, he had a conversation with the All-Star. And when they talked, Simmons assured Rivers that the comment had nothing to do with his desire to move on.

"That one comment thing had nothing to do with why Ben wanted to leave," said Rivers on The VS Show With Vince Carter. "Let me just say that. It was a lot of things, as Ben told me and publicly now, that happened long before I got there. What frustrated me was that I still think it shouldn't have been enough to want to leave. I just didn't."

Rivers, Joel Embiid, and many other members of the Sixers' organization made it clear they thought Simmons would return to the court in Philadelphia during the 2021-2022 NBA season. As we know now, it never worked out.

"What frustrated me was that I still think it shouldn't have been enough to want to leave," Rivers explained. "I just didn't, and I told Ben that. I kept telling him that. This is not why you want to leave a team. You work these things out. They didn't get worked out, so we've had one talk. Not a long, long talk, but we did have one good talk."

Rivers and Simmons' final conversation happened when the deal between Philadelphia and Brooklyn was officially done in February. As the Nets were requested to move James Harden, the Sixers met their asking price of Simmons, Andre Drummond, Seth Curry, and multiple draft picks to land the ten-time All-Star. 

It remains unclear precisely what happened to drive Simmons out of Philly as the All-Star won't reveal specific details. Still, according to Rivers, he was informed that his first season in Philadelphia isn't what caused Simmons to request a trade. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.