Eagles center Jason Kelce has some advice for disgruntled 76ers guard Ben Simmons.
“Just play better, man.”
Speaking on the relationship between Philadelphia fans and its professional athletes Thursday, Kelce turned the conversation toward Simmons, saying his issues boil down to a lack of accountability.
“I tell guys, you write your own narrative. I don’t want to crush any other players, but what’s going on with the 76ers, Ben Simmons, stuff like that, all of that is because of a lack of accountability, a lack of owning up to mistakes and a lack of correcting things,” Kelce said. “If all that got corrected, if you’re fixing free throws, if you’re getting better as a player, none of this is happening. So everybody can bitch and complain about how tough this city is to play in. Just play better, man. This city will love you.”
It’s been a crazy week for Simmons as he was throw out of practice on Tuesday by coach Doc Rivers after he declined to take part in practice. The 76ers suspended Simmons for Wednesday’s season-opening win over the Pelicans for conduct detrimental to the team.
Following the 76ers disappointing playoff exit in last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals, Simmons asked for a trade, and he then held out the first two weeks of training camp in an attempt to force the 76ers to make a deal. He reported to the 76ers last week, and after going through several days of reentry protocols, Simmons practiced with the team Sunday and Monday before being tossed from Tuesday’s practice.
Kelce said he has nothing personal against Simmons but called the situation “a travesty any way you put it.”
“These guys were all brought in here, a lot of talent, and it hasn’t worked out for them for whatever reason,” Kelce said. “But it’s a pretty good example of how not to handle the Philly media, at the very least.”
The 33-year-old, Kelce, is one of the most beloved sports figures in Philadelphia. He’s an 11-year veteran and helped deliver the first Super Bowl championship in the city’s history.