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#pounditSunday, October 2, 2022

Charles Barkley shares advice for 76ers on what to do with Ben Simmons

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley has been encouraging the Philadelphia 76ers to take a hard stance with Ben Simmons for months now, and the Hall of Famer is once again urging his former team show some moxie.

Barkley and TNT’s “NBA Tip-Off” crew discussed the latest in the ongoing saga between Simmons and the 76ers on Tuesday night. Barkley spoke about how the team has tried to work with Simmons and repeatedly gotten burned. He wants that to stop.

“They started off the season begging him to come back,” Barkley said. “They have massaged him, Shaq. They wanted to go see him, he said, ‘Don’t come see me.’ He came and acted like a jerk in practice. They wanted him back. … They’ve bent over backwards to kiss this dude’s a–. Now it’s time to start kicking his a–. There’s only two — you kick somebody’s a– or you kick their a–. It’s time they start kicking his a–.”

What Barkley failed to mention is that the Sixers never begged Simmons to come back because they actually want him on the team. In reality, they have been trying to get him to play nice to help facilitate a trade. Either way, Barkley is right that Simmons has essentially kept giving the team the finger.

Simmons says he is battling mental health issues and not ready to play. The 76ers accepted that, even though a lot of people think Simmons is merely exploiting a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement. The team then offered Simmons services to deal with his issues, but he did not cooperate. They resumed fining him at that point, and Simmons suddenly showed a willingness to work with the Sixers on one key issue.

The 76ers are trying to balance how to play hard ball with Simmons while also working toward a trade. We know where Barkley stands on all of the drama, but Daryl Morey is determined to be patient.

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