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#pounditMonday, December 11, 2023

Tobias Harris offers passionate defense of Ben Simmons

Tobias Harris

Ben Simmons has been criticized by many Philadelphia 76ers fans and even some within the organization. On Friday, however, Simmons received a strong defense from one of his teammates.

After Philadelphia’s 114-109 loss to Brooklyn on Friday, forward Tobias Harris urged both fans and the media to support Simmons. Harris emphasized that Simmons is human, and he “needs more support than neglect.”

“I think we just have to really understand that he’s a human first,” Harris said of Simmons. “If he’s going through something, we have to respect that, and we need to be there for him as a team, organization, fans, all the way down the line. When he’s in here putting on a show and helping us get wins, everybody’s cheering and praising. But we live in a what have you done for me lately type world, and when that’s not the case, it’s easy to turn it around. I think at this time he needs more support than neglect, and I think we just got to be there for him as a team.”

Simmons also urged fans and the media to be mindful of Simmons and to try to support him.

“We’re talking about a person that has a family, has emotions,” Harris said. “He’s a great person as well. So we got to really respect that and just don’t do everything for the clicks.”

Harris has been vocally supportive of Simmons in recent days. It makes him something of an outlier among 76ers players, who have generally stuck to a script of saying they would welcome Simmons back because he makes them a better team.

Simmons reportedly told the 76ers he does not feel mentally ready to play right now. There have been reports that the Sixers don’t even buy Simmons’ mental health explanation, but Harris clearly isn’t on board with that.


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