Everyone in Philly has an opinion on the ongoing soap opera involving Ben Simmons and the Sixers, including members of other sports teams in town.
Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce, who is in his 11th season, has had a front-row seat to Simmons’ career, and he had a detailed critique.
“What’s going on with Ben Simmons and the 76ers,” Kelce said at a press conference Thursday, “all of that is because of a lack of accountability, a lack of owning up to mistakes, and a lack of correcting things.”
Simmons, who came to Philly in 2016, was a bright star in the city until recent years, when he receded from big moments in the postseason and failed to make good on a five-year, $170 million max contract.
Simmons’ fraught relationship with the Sixers franchise came to a head this summer when he asked for a trade and completed a two-week training camp and preseason holdout before returning to the team. Of course, when he did return, Simmons refused to give full effort and was kicked out of practice and suspended for the season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kelce distilled this all into a simple statement, stating that hard work and improvement will forever endear players to Philly fans.
“If you’re fixing free throws and getting better as a player, none of this is happening,” Kelce said. “Everybody can b---- and complain about how tough this city is to play in. Just play better, man. This city will love you.”