From the moment it became clear that Ben Simmons had no intention of playing for the 76ers this season, fans in Philly immediately turned their gaze toward the Feb. 10 trade deadline. And once Simmons was officially moved to the Brooklyn Nets, that collective attention shifted toward March 10, when Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Co. were expected to come to town with the former Sixers guard in tow.
But as that date drew closer, it again became clear that Simmons, his inner circle, and the Nets did not plan to bring him into the lion’s den and expose him to a hostile situation. It didn’t matter that Simmons took the stage in his introductory press conference and said he would like to be on the court against the Sixers in their final regular-season meeting.
Now that Simmons obviously won’t be on the court, the question is whether he will come back to Philly at all. Simmons is reportedly set to come to town and sit on the bench during the game, but The Inquirer’s David Murphy has his doubts. He takes a deeper look at the latest confrontation between Simmons and Sixers fans.
— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport
Will Ben Simmons show up to Wells Fargo Center on Thursday and attend the Sixers-Nets matchup? Tell us at: email@example.com
Tom Brady has retired from football and moved on to new endeavors. And while many thought his retirement was a ruse, it appears that his next move will not be in the NFL. In fact, it looks like his next stop will be ... the Navy Yard?
Brady’s TB12 health and wellness company opened a new location Monday inside the Vincera Institute at the Navy Yard. The South Philadelphia spot joins locations in Tampa, Fla., Boston, and Foxboro, Mass., and is the first site that is not in a city tied to Brady’s football career.
“This is what a first-round pick looks like.” That’s what Phillies manager Joe Girardi said after watching Andrew Painter pitch for the first time. Painter, who played at Calvary Christian Academy with Girardi’s son, Dante, for two seasons, was only a freshman at the time.
Three years later, Girardi played a part in making those prophetic words a reality. The Phillies chose Painter at No. 13 in the 2021 MLB draft. Now, Painter is reunited with his friend’s father in Clearwater, Fla., for spring training.
Off the Dribble
The Sixers were recently in the market for a backup center and settled on veterans to fill two openings, adding Paul Millsap and DeAndre Jordan to the roster to play behind All-NBA center Joel Embiid.
They were also in the market for a backup center when Darryl Dawkins suffered an injury 40 years ago. But they took a less conventional approach to fill their void in February 1982. Rather than find a player with recent experience, they tried to lure 45-year-old Wilt Chamberlain out of retirement. And it almost worked.
The Inquirer’s Matt Breen explains why The Big Dipper — along with Julius Erving and Billy Cunningham — viewed it as a bad idea for Wilt to return to basketball after nine years away from the game.
On Monday night, the Sixers’ big man was as dominant as ever. Joel Embiid went off for 43 points and 14 rebounds in a 121-106 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Next: The Sixers’ next game is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center. For now, Simmons is expected to be in the building (TNT).
On the Fly
The Flyers power play is 1-16 over the last six games and Mike Yeo isn’t happy.
After a stern talk with the team last Friday, on Monday Yeo said isn’t afraid to deliver more “hard messages” if that’s what it takes. The interim coach hinted that some of the power-play regulars’ jobs may not be safe and that new guys could get an opportunity.
Defenseman Travis Sanheim is one player fans want to see get more opportunities with the man advantage and Yeo acknowledge that they soon could get their wish.
“I can tell you that it’s in discussion right now, that’s for sure,” Yeo said. “He should be ready to grow into this and mature enough to handle it.”
Next: The Flyers host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (NBCSP).
Worth a Look
NCAA betting trends: How to approach the biggest weekend of college basketball games, with conference tournaments and Selection Sunday on the horizon.
Sciences merger can wait: This is the last season for University of Sciences athletics before the school merges with St. Joseph’s. The Devils extended their women’s basketball season and program by winning the league title on Sunday.
Wildcats fall short: Connecticut rolled past Villanova’s women, 70-40, in the Big East championship.
Sixers legend Wilt Chamberlain was dominant and the NBA made a number or rule changes in response to his otherworldly abilities. Which of the below alterations was not done in response to Chamberlain?
a) Instituting the 24-second shot clock.
b) The widening of the lane.
c) The creation of goaltending.
We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Gina Mizell, Alex Coffey, Matt Breen, Olivia Reiner, Ed Barkowitz, Mike Jensen, and Melanie Heller.