When the Sixers failed to get past the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, their starting point guard Ben Simmons decided he wanted out. An official trade request was made as the 76ers' front office met with Simmons' reps in Chicago during the NBA Combine. So far, the Sixers have yet to honor that request.
Without an NBA All-Star to acquire or a team that's willing to part ways with multiple valuable young players and picks for the three-time All-Star, the Sixers have yet to dish out Simmons.
While the 76ers attempted to salvage the situation and convince the young guard to return to the team back in August, Simmons made it clear he had every intention of not showing up for training camp and the preseason.
With training camp concluded and the preseason started, Simmons stayed true to his word. And as teams, fans, and former players watch the situation unfold, one outspoken NBA legend, in particular, is confused about the situation.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal hasn't been a stranger to discussing the topic of Ben Simmons. Recently, O'Neal has had a lot to say regarding the young guard's holdout, and O'Neal once again questions Simmons' mentality during his holdout on The Crossover podcast with Chris Mannix.
"I don't know why he's upset. Everything everybody's been saying has been facts. Especially with the amount of money that (Ben Simmons) is making, $200 million. You're a superstar -- in the playoffs, you have to step up. That's the name of the game. . . You step up. In Philly, they're used to Iverson, Dr. J, Barkley. They expect you to step up. The whole world seen the man terrified to play."
At this point, Simmons has yet to speak publicly on the situation. Although several reports have speculated numerous factors playing into Simmons' desire for a trade, the primary reason why he wants out remains totally unclear to the public.
The Sixers made it clear they wouldn't sell Simmons for less than what he's worth from the jump. Coming off of a tough playoff performance, Simmons' value has never been lower, which raises another question to Shaq.
"OK, you want to be traded: Who's gonna take you? Nobody's giving up good pieces for a guy that don't want to shoot in the fourth quarter. I'm not. A good team, Philadelphia, they're gonna want to get good pieces for you and I'm not giving up a piece that can shoot better than you and that's more aggressive than you in the fourth quarter. So, he's probably gotta go back to Philly or just sit out a year."
For now, Simmons remains committed to his holdout. However, as the fines rack up and the money disappears without a chance to be refunded, the three-time All-Star has a difficult decision to make. Will Simmons swallow his pride and show face in Philly once again? Only time will tell.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.