This story first appeared on 6abc.
For the first time since the end of last season, Ben Simmons is back with his teammates at the Philadelphia 76ers facility in Camden, New Jersey.
While his teammates have said since Simmons’s return to the city last week that they don’t expect an apology, they only want him to show up and do his job, some fans in Philadelphia feel differently about the Sixers all star.
“Me being a Philly fan, I’m always disappointed. Whatever I want, it always goes the other way,” said Rodney Ellis from Middletown, Delaware.
“It’s not too much to ask the guy to take a shot, right? Like it’s part of a game, you gotta score to win,” said Justin Pepper from East Passyunk.
The saga with Simmons started after the Sixers playoff run and series loss to the Atlanta Hawks. A few days after their season ended, Simmons requested a trade and it seemed like the team was willing to shop him around.
“I’d rather have him off the team, but you can’t get a lot of value for someone who chokes in big moments and gets paid a max contract,” said Gregg Terris from Haddonfield, New Jersey.
The trade never happened and Simmons began holding out and did not show up for training camp. The team withheld an $8 million paycheck and started to fine Simmons for missing preseason games. Simmons then put his center city condo up for sale.
“We need that heart again, I mean, Embiid has it, but he (Simmons) just doesn’t show it. He just wants money!” said Alfred McGinn from Marlton, New Jersey.
Last week, unexpectedly, Simmons showed up at the Sixers practice facility for a COVID-19 test. He’s cleared health and safety protocols and is ready to play.
“We boo Barkley. We boo a lot of people back in the day. And this guy, he’s fresh. I think he needs to get out of here,” said Shawn Le from Washington Township, New Jersey.
While some fans want him gone, others say they’re ready to forgive the all star.
“I think he deserves another chance and some people go through stuff, but I believe in God, so I think God will work it out,” said John Wisdom from West Philadelphia who showed up to the Sixers facility to show support.
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