The 76ers’ ahead weighed in on the function the three-time All-Star performed within the franchise’s begin final season.
Georges Niang spent a single season as a teammate with present Nets ahead Ben Simmons in the course of the 2021-22 NBA season, a yr during which Philadelphia completed No. 4 within the Japanese Convention standings.
Nevertheless, because the 76ers search to take care of its No. 3 spot or rise to the highest spot within the convention contemporary off the NBA All-Star break, the Sixers’ ahead didn’t have many good phrases for his former teammate when reflecting on final season.
In an look on the John Kincade Present on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, Niang stated that Simmons—who was traded to Brooklyn in trade James Harden in February 2022—was one thing of a burden for the workforce earlier than he was dealt.
“Effectively, Ben Simmons form of handicapped us firstly of final yr,” Niang stated. “I wasn’t going to say it, however you already know what I imply.”
Simmons famously had a really public falling out with the workforce, beginning together with his struggles within the 2021 postseason and a commerce request within the ensuing offseason. A murky scenario adopted, as Simmons held out of coaching camp then refused to play for the Sixers, saying he wasn’t mentally prepared. Lastly, Philadelphia accomplished a deal to ship him to Brooklyn on Feb. 10.
Niang stated that the uncertainty surrounding Simmons and his potential return to the court docket made it troublesome on the workforce whereas he was nonetheless round. With Simmons now having moved on, Niang believes all of his teammates actually embrace one another and a collective workforce effort for achievement.
“You already know you who you’re going into warfare with each single night time,” Niang stated. “I really feel comfy with the items that we’ve got as a result of we do have some nice gamers on this [Philadelphia] locker room.”