The 76ers forward weighed in on the role the three-time All-Star played in the franchise’s start last season.
Georges Niang spent a single season as teammates with current Nets forward Ben Simmons during the 2021-22 NBA season, a year in which Philadelphia finished No. 4 in the Eastern Conference standings. .
However, as the 76ers look to maintain their No. 3 position or move up to the top spot in the conference coming off the NBA All-Star break, the Sixers forward didn’t have many kind words for his former teammate as reflect on last season.
In an appearance on the John Kincade Show in 97.5 The Fanatic In Philadelphia, Niang said Simmons, who was traded to Brooklyn for James Harden in February 2022, was something of a liability to the team before he was traded.
“Well, Ben Simmons put us at a disadvantage early last year,” Niang said. saying. “I wasn’t going to say it, but you know what I mean.”
Simmons had a very public falling out with the team, beginning with their 2021 postseason woes and a trade request the following offseason. A murky situation ensued, as Simmons held out in training camp and then refused to play for the Sixers, saying he wasn’t mentally ready. Ultimately, Philadelphia completed a deal to send him to Brooklyn on February 10.
Niang said the uncertainty surrounding Simmons and his possible return to the court made things difficult for the team while he was still around. Now that Simmons has moved on, Niang believes that all of his teammates truly embrace each other and a collective team effort for success.
“You know who you go to war with every night,” Niang said. “I feel comfortable with the pieces we have because we have great players in this [Philadelphia] easy room.”