It had to be one of the most disappointing series losses in recent memory.
Philly were touted to be a genuine Championship contender, finishing with the 1 seed, only to be bounced in soul crushing fashion.
Then the rumblings started in the post-match interviews, which leaves us with this question.
Should Ben Simmons Stay? Or Should He Go?
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Ben Simmons was beyond his best in the playoffs, particularly in this series.
Going into the match up with the Hawks (and to be honest against most guards), Ben has the physical tools to beat any of his opponents off the dribble with his sheer size and power at his position on any given night.
His confidence appeared to be broken, brutal at the foul line, and benched in the closing stages of games due to this.
Not exactly how you think your franchise All-Star guard would be treated, especially someone who is elite defensively, benched for the likes of Shake Milton…
Post-match, Joel Embiid was asked which moment lost their team the game/series.
He pin pointed Ben’s moment passing the ball up to Thybulle rather than having an open dunk.
Was it the wrong play by Ben? Absolutely.
Was this an awful take by Embiid? ABSOLUTELY!
You’re an elite big in this game, arguably the most dominant centre in the game today, so to throw your team mate and fellow All-Star under the bus like that was a joke.
Doc Rivers also came out after the game and questioned whether Ben was the guy to lead this team to a Championship.
They decided to rubbish their All-Star guard, and now find themselves between a rock and a hard place trying to trade Ben.
If you rubbish your elite defensive All-Star guard then you rubbish his trade value that you want for him.
They allowed Kevin Huerter of all players (no disrespect to Kevin but come on) to come into their building in game 7 and torch them!
Which leads us to Ben not wanting to show up to training camp.
You can’t blame him for not wanting to show up to a team who has openly said they don’t think he has what it takes (front office, coaching and fellow stars of the team).
Philly only have themselves to blame in this situation.
They’re the ones who gave Ben this monster contract, as you’re not giving someone that kind of coin to not “be the guy”.
Ben is an elite defender, who was runner up in Defensive Player of the Year honours last season, and one of the favourites to take home that title this season, granted he gets on the court.
So the question remains, should Ben show up to camp and help this team compete for a title, showing he’s improved his game in the off season.
Or should he continue to demand a trade and remove himself from an organisation who has plenty of doubts surrounding him.