Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, former NBA center Theo Ratliff spent a few seasons as a member of the Sixers. After spending a few seasons with the Detroit Pistons to kickstart his career, Ratliff was traded to the 76ers as they were becoming playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Ratliff had some solid years in a Sixers uniform. During his final outing with the Sixers during the 2000-2001 season, he averaged a career-high of 12 points per game and collected 8.3 rebounds per game. In addition to his scoring and rebounding, Ratliff also dominated on defense as he led the league with 3.7 blocks per game.
Years later, Ratliff is just a spectator to the game. While he's had stints with over five different teams throughout the remainder of his career, Ratliff keeps a close eye on the 76ers as his most memorable seasons came in Philly.
And lately, paying attention to the Sixers primarily means keeping an eye on the Ben Simmons situation. As Simmons has reportedly requested a trade and doesn't plan to play for the Sixers again, both parties are at a point of no return, and people are beginning to pick sides in the situation.
Some former players who have offered their two cents on the situation suggested the Sixers are in the wrong. On the other hand, Ratliff is among those former players that won't be siding with Ben Simmons, and he explained why.
It’s more about Ben to me than anything because for you to be an All-Star, MVP-caliber player, all you have to do is develop a 10-foot jump shot," Ratliff said on Sirius XM Radio. "Even when I played, we had Eric Snow, who was considered not to be a shooter, but he worked on his craft, enough to where Eric took some of the biggest shots we had in the in the game at points and made them. That only comes with practice, and I just don’t get him just refusing to actually shoot a 10-foot jumper and being able to be consistent at that and being the type of player that he is."
With Ben Simmons refusing to expand his range, the Sixers have seen their fair share of spacing issues over the years. No matter how hard Simmons' teammates and coaches attempted to push for a change, the All-Star point guard remained the same player offensively, and that hurt the Sixers in the second round of the playoffs.
Now, it seems they'll look for a way to get everybody a fresh start as Simmons wants a change of scenery, and the Sixers want a better fit surrounding Joel Embiid.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.