What would it take for Ben Simmons to win back 76ers fans?

Ben Simmons, 25, has four years and $147 million left on his contract.

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Simmons surprises 76ers by reporting to Philly: ESPN sources
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers were unaware Simmons was flying into Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Ben Simmons may be back in town but it's going to take some work to win back the hearts of Philadelphia 76ers fans.

"Passion. It's a passionate town. You have to play hard. You have to give 110%, and the fans see and respect that," said Paul Whitaker from North Philadelphia.

Since the season ended, Simmons has requested a trade. He was later denied his paycheck for not showing up to preseason. He even listed his $3.1 million Center City condo for sale.

How do fans feel about the recent fallout?

"Get rid of him," said Nate Harper from Germantown. "I'm not excited at all. He can't shoot a free throw and why not dunk the ball when you're right under the basket instead of passing it up."

"Ben Simmons doesn't love Philly no more. So guess what Ben Simmons? Pack your stuff, it's time for you to go. We need a trade," said Stephen Davis from Northeast Philadelphia.

There's no love lost with Sixers fans.

"I hate him *laughs* I mean, no, I don't really hate him as a person, but I think he's a big softie and I'm really upset about the situation right now," added Kyle Vincent from South Philadelphia.

Thousands have voted in our Action News poll: "Would you like to see Ben Simmons stay in Philly with the 76ers?"

So far, 80% of 76ers fans say, "No."

Action News asked some fans what Simmons would have to do to get back in their good graces. Some said apologize and make a free throw.

SEE ALSO: 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons arrives in Philadelphia as talks progress with team: ESPN

Simmons' arrival concluded several weeks of discussions between the organization and Simmons' representative, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, to get Simmons back into the marketplace, sources said.

Under the terms of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, for each preseason game he missed, he lost roughly $360,000 for failing to show up -- totaling more than $1 million for the three games that he missed. In addition, the Sixers could fine Simmons for missed practices: $2,500 for the first, $5,000 for the second, $7,500 for the third and for every practice after, being left to the discretion of the team, with the ability to go up to $50,000.