Dear Ben Simmons
(Photo from CBS Sports)
On June 26th, 2016 you were drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. You were being regarded at the time as one of the best prospects since Lebron. You were the player that we prayed for ever since the "Process Sixers" began. At the time we never thought we would see Embiid play and you were supposed to be the player that took us out of the darkness and into the spotlight.
This fan base backed you up from the moment Adam Silver announced your name as the first overall pick in 2016. When people argued you would never be healthy after sitting out the 2016-17 season, SIxers nation supported you. When other fan bases argued you were overrated because you did not shoot the ball, Sixers nation supported you. When you were snubbed of an all-star selection in 2018, we knew you were an all star. When the entire country argued that Donavan Mitchell should have been Rookie of the Year, we backed you up.
Then the 2020-2021 season began. This Sixers team had one thing on their mind; Championship or bust. First seed in the East, top tier coach, two all-stars, 3-point shooting, and more. On June 20th the hopes of a championship for the Sixers came to an end.
We supported you ever since you entered the league. In the biggest playoff series of your career, we found it hard for us to support you. Passing up a wide-open lay-up in the closing minutes in game 7. We watched every off-season you playing pick-up and you would bank a 3 point shot. We would get so excited and then you would make one in a pre-season game. Then we get into the games that matter and you clearly do not show any desire to improve your game. If you really wanted to get better and develop your game, you would make the effort. You clearly have not.
When Philly fans got mad, you decided to turn your back on the franchise and city. Philly fans are passionate and dedicated to their teams. You are a player that we supported since day 1, and you turned your back on us. We wanted to win a championship more than everyone last season, and you were not able to deliver. On top of that you turned on the city that gave you so much. Philly fans will back our players until they turn on us. You turned your back and ran when things got tough.
When you wonder why your teammates are upset or you get boos from the Philly faithful, you should be surprised. Philly sports is a family and you turned your back. You have 4 years left on your contract and what from the Sixers are asking for you, it is going to be a long 4 years here in Philly. If you have any desire to gain the trust and love from fans, you have a lot of work to do. Philly is a very challenging place to play. A lot of players have come here and could not handle the pressure. You seem to not like challenge. If you want to continue to not step up to challenge, then never consider yourself elite.
I am glad you randomly showed up to the Wells Fargo Center. Do you think we are just going to forgive you? Did you think we did not see the bluff? You care more about money and legacy than you do about your game. When you get boo's every time you touch the ball, just remember we do not care about money or your legacy. We care about championships and the team. Basketball is not an individual sport even though you think it is.
We backed you up since day 1 when the entire country did not. You turned your back on us. I would say thank you for your service to this team, but I do not do that for people who take the easy way out and do not deserve it.
A disgruntled 76ers fan
PS. If you do not want your next team to hate you, you may want to learn to shoot the basketball.