Ben Simmons is desperate to play the 76ers in Philadelphia: ‘I can’t wait to go there’
Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons is looking forward to playing against his former franchise in the city where he spent the first more than five seasons of his pro career. Simmons was traded from Philadelphia to Brooklyn in February and sat out the entire season, failing to adjust when the Nets played the 76ers in March. The Nets took on the Sixers last week preseason – and Simmons played – but that contest was held in Brooklyn. The game between the two teams, scheduled for November 22 in Philly, will be Simmons’ first chance to play against the fans who fired for him earlier.
“F— I can’t wait to go there, yeah,” Simmons said of his return to Philadelphia in a recent interview with ESPN. “But for me everything is an experience and a learning situation. So I can learn something I’ve never gone through before. I have never been traded and played against a team that I was traded by. [Kevin Durant] Has, [Kyrie Irving] has, a lot of people have, but I’ve never been in that situation, so – you have to go through it. Ky went back to Boston and he didn’t play well, but it’s a lot. We are human too. We want to go out there and prove everyone wrong.”
After being selected as the top pick overall in the 2016 NBA draft, Simmons spent the first five seasons of his career with the Sixers before finally requesting a trade after the 2020-21 season. His behavior prior to the trade has recently catapulted him into the status of one of Philadelphia’s most hated athletes, so it’s safe to say Philly fans are as excited for Simmons’ return to the city as he appears to be.
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However, despite the current shaky state of his relationship with Philadelphia, Simmons wouldn’t rule out competing for the Sixers again one day.
“Who knows? I can’t predict the future,” Simmons said. “I never would have said to myself at the beginning of my career that it would go like this. Who knows if I’ll come back in four or five years.” [to Philadelphia]? I do not know. It could be a very different situation, but right now I don’t want to make a decision and say that nothing can change.”
During a recent appearance on The old man and the three Podcast with JJ Reddick, Simmons revealed he still owns real estate in Philadelphia, and it’s helping him maintain a connection to the city.
“Philly is obviously a sports city. And my experience playing there was incredible.” said Simmons. “For the most part it was incredible. I had a great time. The fans are incredible. I still have an apartment there, so I still own some real estate in Philadelphia. I still feel like a part of Philadelphia.”
The upcoming season offers a wealth of fascinating games for both the Sixers and Nets, but one thing is certain: the competition between the two teams on November 22nd in Philly will be one not to be missed.
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