It’s been a while since Ben Simmons publicly appeared on a basketball court. While Simmons is no longer a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, he hasn’t played a game since the last time he suited up with the Sixers two summers ago.
The infamous Game 7 matchup in South Philly against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs was the final time Simmons played for the Sixers. Although the three-time All-Star didn’t indicate he wanted out of his current situation after the game, Simmons requested a trade days later.
Despite remaining on Philadelphia’s roster for over half the 2021-2022 season, Simmons never suited up to play. Eventually, the 76ers granted his wish and moved him to Brooklyn in exchange for a package centered around James Harden.
Although Simmons was seemingly ramping up action and working a return to the floor, he missed the remainder of the regular season. And while rumors indicated he could make his season debut in the playoffs, Simmons missed all four of Brooklyn’s games in the first round.
Months after the Nets’ short-live playoff run, Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher claimed that Simmons was asked by his teammates whether he would appear in Brooklyn’s Game 4 elimination game against the Boston Celtics through a group chat. Instead of responding, Simmons reportedly left the chat.
As expected, the report turned into a big story earlier this week. While many bought into the idea that Simmons ghosted his Nets teammates in the playoffs, it seems that might not be the case. Simmons didn’t directly respond to the report but reacted accordingly on Twitter.
For what it’s worth, The Athletic’s Shams Charania shot down the story. Charania, who is closely connected with Simmons and his representation, joined The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday afternoon to clear up the reports.
While the story added some offseason entertainment for basketball fans, Charania claims that the story is totally false. In addition, he added that Simmons is “doing more on the floor” and is “looking good” in the offseason.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.