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Ben Simmons still appreciates previous time in Philly even after bitter breakup: ‘I feel like I’m part of Philly still’

The Philadelphia faithful have consistently criticized Ben Simmons for his work ethic, mental toughness and assumed lack of offensive development from the previous years, and the Australian cager can only acknowledge that.

On his guesting in The Old Man and The Three podcast with former teammate and host J.J Reddick, Simmons sounded off on the grinding experience he had with the franchise’ supporters.

“Well, people in Philly just want to have something to say about f—–g anything, man,” Simmons said, via CBS Sports’ Michael Kaskey-Blomain. Like, literally everything. I post a picture of a f—–g car or a dog, and I got reporters saying ‘You should be in the f—– gym.’ Come on man.”

Despite the fact that their marriage ended up in a brutal and notorious divorce, Simmons still holds a high regard with the Sixers and the whole city of Philadelphia.

Simmons has nothing but love for the time and the relationship he built as a former member of the club, even revealing that he still has some business investment around Philly.

“Philly is obviously a sports city. And my experience playing there was incredible,” Simmons said. “Like for the most part, it was incredible. I had a great time. The fans are unbelievable. I still have an apartment there, so I do own some real estate in Philadelphia still. I feel like I’m part of Philly still.

“It’s just unique,” Simmons continued. “Even being in Brooklyn now, it’s completely different. This is a different experience for me. And you know I value that time I did spend in Philly because I was able to learn and grow in that city. I got friends for life there. My brother lives there. I got family there. So yeah, Philly’s great. I think people have like a thought that they think I hate it.”

Simmons, who was chosen by the 76ers for the first pick of the 2017 Draft, had a lopsided stint with loyal, yet demanding Philadelphia fans. He, who was being touted initially as their saviour and the face of their franchise for years to come, suddenly shifted into their public enemy No. 1 following a dramatic 2021 offseason.

On Nov. 22, both sides will finally face off after a highly controversial standoff throughout the past season.

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