The Sixers held a big draft party in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art back in June, celebrating the arrival of Ben Simmons — the long anticipated No. 1 overall pick from LSU. He was supposed to be the franchise’s savior. Even Allen Iverson said so.
But of course, in the tradition that sidelined Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid for extended periods of time over the course of the recent rebuild, Philly announced that Simmons underwent successful foot surgery and will be out at least three months, thus extending the rebuild further.
His agent and many Sixers front office members are contemplating keeping him out indefinitely until next season. If that’s truly the case, here’s what fans will be missing the most:
1. His size and durability
Simmons is 6-foot-10 and weighs in the neighborhood of 240 pounds. He could play every position on the floor, most comfortably point forward. His durability would have allowed (and in the future will) the Sixers to be creative with what personnel they put on the floor with him.
2. His passing
There was a brief glimpse of Simmons’ game in the NBA Summer League, and he dazzled with his passes. He seemed to have eyes in the back of his head and the creativity of a Magic Johnson. One can only imagine — or patiently wait — to see how he’d perform with a better supporting cast than the Summer League roster from July.
3. The bromance
It’s no secret that Simmons and big man Embiid have become BFFs off the court during the offseason, making joint appearances, chatting on Twitter and even going to the Eagles’ season opener together. Seeing them play on the same floor will have to wait.
4. The nicknames
There had been buzzing from Simmons, Embiid and Dario Saric (the newly arrived Serbian forward) that the trio would go by TTP3 in 2016-17, or Trust the Process Three. Simmons himself says he prefers the nickname “Benny,” but something more exotic is necessary — perhaps as Ben “Jammin” Simmons.
5. The wins
The Sixers had a much better opportunity to work their way out of the bottom of the NBA with Simmons on thisyear’s Sixers squad. Without him, the team is hoping to simply improve on their lowly 10-win year last season.