Ben Simmons was set to become $11.4 million richer today, but instead his bank account remained untouched as the 76ers played hard.
That’s the message to Ben Simmons after Philadelphia withheld the $11.4 million payment he was due to receive today as the standoff between the franchise and its big man remains deadlocked.
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Wanting to get away from Philly, Simmons refuses to fit in with the team, willing to be fined and even suspended for serving pre-season camp.
The Australian NBA star has already received the first 25 percent of his contract value this season, but the Sixers are refusing to give him the second 25 percent – or $11.4 million – because of his boycott.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania says the move won’t come as a surprise to Simmons as he “understood the implications of his holdout,” while according to ESPN, Simmons’ money held in an escrow account will be kept and any fines he faces for doing so. are not – the fulfillment will be deducted from that amount.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst told the network that the Sixers’ move was a “declaration of war.”
“It’s definitely a toss-down of the glove,” he said.
“And if this wasn’t war already, this is a declaration of war that … pretty much closes the door on Ben Simmons having an interest in bridging this gap and reporting (for duty).”
The latest development in Simmons’ trading saga comes after 76ers star Joel Embiid dropped some truth bombs on the 25-year-old. The duo would be the central figures of a championship-winning roster, but Embiid said that after everything the Sixers have done to accommodate Simmons over the years – including attracting players like Al Horford and getting rid of Jimmy Butler – it is no longer it is up to them to bow to the wishes of the Australian.
“I feel like our team has been built around (Simmons) over the years,” Embiid said this week. “Our teams have always been built around his needs.
“Even going back to why we signed Al, we got rid of Jimmy, which I think was still a mistake, just to make sure he (Simmons) needed the ball in his hands and that’s the decision they made.
“The situation is disappointing, a bit disrespectful to all the guys who are fighting for their lives here.
“Some guys trust the team to be successful to stay in the league and make money somehow. Because when you’re on a winning team you always have a place in the league just because you’re in a winning team and you contributed.
“We are a better team with him, no doubt about that. We still hope he changes his mind, but I owe it to these guys to be concerned about what we have here.”
Embiid’s comments came after a report from Sam Amick of The Athletic that Simmons no longer wants to play alongside the All-Star center because he feels their styles on the pitch are not compatible.
NBA pundits have cracked down on Simmons for trying to get under his contract with the 76ers over the heavy criticism he received for his poor shooting in their playoff loss to Atlanta last season. Many, including basketball royalty Shaquille O’Neal, believe that instead of sulking, Simmons should work on adding the one tool to his game that would make him a superstar — a jump shot.
He is also labeled as “selfish” by some in the US media.
Multiple franchises have been linked to interest in Simmons, but so far the 76ers have failed to agree on a suitable trade package to release him. It has left the two sides in a tense stalemate – Simmons is unwilling to play with the ball and Philly is unwilling to let him go without being adequately compensated with a major star.