Hall of Famer Charles Barkley Explains Why 76ers Fans Are Mad at Ben Simmons

Published 09/03/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
May 31, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) reacts after the basket during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards during game four in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports


The saga of Ben Simmons continues to grow. After poor performances in this year’s playoffs, Simmons wants to leave the franchise after facing backlash from fans. Ever since he arrived in Philly, fans have been waiting for him to grow into a potential superstar.

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But, things have not worked out well for the player. The series against Atlanta Hawks was the final nail in the coffin for this talented point guard. Former NBA player, Charles Barkley spoke about the tensions between the franchise and the player.

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Charles Barkley on Ben Simmons

Chiefly, he spoke about Simmons being afraid to produce during clutch moments in games. In an interview on ‘The Mike Missanelli Show’, he reflected on the situation and gave his thoughts on the matter.

“I think what annoys the Philadelphia fans the most, and I have been here for 36 years. I think they’re mad cause he’s afraid.”

Jun 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins (20) during the first half in game six in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

“That dude plays so hard, you got to admire him and the thing about Ben, I just don’t know this but I am just telling from being in Philly for 36 years, I think Philly is mad because this dude is scared,” said Simmons.

On face value, Barkley’s assessment seems to be right. Simmons is facing issues with confidence and the determination to come back with it. Furthermore, he drew comparisons to Giannis’ performances with Milwaukee. The Greek Freak is not the typical free-throw shooter. However, his ability to go forward without missing a stride is something to admire. Antetokounmpo finally reached his holy grail as he won the NBA title this year.

Questions regarding his mentality?

Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks became the flashpoint of all his problems. With three minutes on the clock, the scores read in favor of the Hawks. As usual, Ben posted up against Gallinari and passed up an opportunity to score a basket. The rim was wide open, but the player passed the ball to Matisse Thybulle. This drew angry reactions from his fans, as well as, his players.

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Embiid in particular seemed to be angry about the way he passed on the opportunity to score the basket.

“I thought the turning points was when we–I don’t know how to say it–is when we had an open shot and made one free throw,” said Embiid.

In addition, there are reports of a rift between Simmons and Embiid being one of the reasons to exit from the franchise. Where he goes next would be the question on everyone’s minds. But Simmons is a talented basketball player.

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Show him some love y’all!!!

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Jacob Gijy

398 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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