Dwight Howard gave his two cents on the whole Ben Simmons-Philadelphia 76ers fiasco. Reveals what he would have done if stuck in the Australian’s shoes.
The Ben Simmons–Philadelphia 76ers situation is getting out of hands. After an offseason filled with trade rumors surrounding the Australian guard, the Sixers decided not to part ways with the 6-foot-11 All-Star… just yet. Not only have we heard any major updates on the whole issue, but are yet to hear from him or even see him suited up for Philly.
Several analysts, former & current NBA stars have given their take on this entire catastrophe. Recently, Lakers big man Dwight Howard gave his two cents on the whole debacle. In a GQ Sports interview, Simmons’ former teammate stated:
“I know exactly what he’s going through. It’s a learning phase. I don’t think people understand how difficult it is to be an 18 year old kid to come into a world like this. It’s a different reality being in the NBA. Ben is young and being the face of a franchise going through changes. And everything you do will be publicized. All your mistakes, all your failures. When you do something bad, they put that out there more. The whole world sees it and they judge you based off your mistakes. All of us have problems we deal with on the daily. I don’t think people really and truly understand that part and they get offended when players don’t wanna talk or won’t do certain things.
With Ben, how can you speak on a situation when you don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors? It’s a lot of growth he’s had to go through. It’s very tough to be in the spotlight and deal with some of these things, especially when you feel like you’re alone. People say he isn’t where he needs to be as a player, but I’m proud of his growth. I’m always gonna stick up for him, he was my teammate. At the end of the day, even if we don’t play on the same team, you still my brother.”
“Maybe Ben Simmons wants a fresh start”: Dwight Howard
Unlike many other basketball enthusiasts, Howard believes that Ben did the best job he could. He further stated how it was the Sixers fans who haven’t treated him fairly. The 35-year-old added:
“He’s done the best job he can. I don’t think the Philly fans have really treated him fairly throughout this whole situation based off what they heard in the media. They feel like he’s obligated to them. But what if this was your son or daughter or one of your friends dealing with what Ben’s dealing with? How would you handle it? How would you feel?”
Finally, Dwight revealed what he would do, if he was in Simmons’ shoes while relating it to his own time in Orlando.
“Well, I would have to be a professional first and do my job. To the best of my ability. But he probably just wants a fresh start. That’s why I wanted to leave Orlando. I just wanted a fresh start. It wasn’t nothing wrong with the team or the city. I loved Orlando. Loved Orlando! Every time I left Orlando I couldn’t wait to get back home to Orlando.
It had nothing to do with the people of that city at all. I was there for eight years of life and I wanted to be somewhere else. Everybody deserves a chance to be reborn. I was way too comfortable there and I wanted to grow as a man. I feel like since I left Orlando all the things that I’ve wanted happened in my life. Everything. I’m thankful that me leaving Orlando happened because if not I would never be who I am today. I would’ve never grown.”