The Philadelphia 76ers and 25-year old 3-time All-Star Ben Simmons have been going back and forth with each other since the team was eliminated in Game 7 by the Atlanta Hawks in the East semifinals. Simmons wrapped up another poor playoff performance and the rumors went flying.
Simmons then officially requested a trade from the organization in late August and he began a holdout. He ended that holdout on Oct. 11 when the heavy fines came in and he has not been exactly cooperative since then. He has been thrown out of practice, suspended for the season opener, and then has since claimed he is going through it mentally and he has stepped away to go see a mental professional.
He then failed to keep the Sixers in the loop and the team grew frustrated with him again. That has led to the team resuming their fines against him and NBA legend Charles Barkley ripped into Simmons for his actions.
Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas, who is no stranger to controversy himself, called out both Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal for their criticism of Simmons. He is the latest player to defend Simmons after Dwight Howard did so earlier.
Arenas stated that they were both prima donnas during their time in the league as well and he even discussed Simmons as a shooter on former teammate Etan Thomas’ podcast.
Gilbert Arenas got fired up when asked about Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley calling Ben Simmons a «prima donna.»
Arenas defended Simmons and called out Shaq and Barkley for being prima donnas back when they played.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) November 12, 2021
The Sixers will certainly have to find a way to figure this situation out, but when it comes to the criticism Simmons has received, maybe Arenas does have a point. Mental health is a serious issue, but on one hand, it is not that hard to send a text to Simmons’ employer and keep them in the loop. At this point, Philadelphia may just need to trade him and get this thing over with.