Charles Barkley has some advice for his former team. The Basketball Hall of Famer recently spoke to TMZ Sports and said the Philadelphia 76ers need to trade Ben Simmons as soon as they can. Simmons has not played for the 76ers yet this season as he was suspended for the season opener.
"They should've suspended him longer," Barkley said last week, "he's not going to be better Friday. "Today is Wednesday, they only suspended him for a day. They should suspend him for longer. Plain and simple." Barkley went on to say that the 76ers need to find a way to trade him. "I'm disappointed. If he wasn't gon' play, he should have never came to training camp," he said. "You don't come to work and then be a jerk. You don't practice with a cell phone in your pocket!"
Barkley also talked about the Simmons situation on TNT. "It's a joke; it's stupid and silly," Barkley said, per USA Today. "First of all, it's everybody's fault. Ben Simmons deserves number one to blame because when people ask you to be a better basketball player, and they're paying you $35-40 million, that's a very fair thing. The Sixers deserve some blame because they already let this guy not improve and get one coach fired. So these are some blame for that.
"They threw Brett Brown under the bus, and the third thing is Doc Rivers, last year we had him, 'Oh, you guys want me to take Ben Simmons out the game?' Yeah we do. If he just gonna stand around and not shoot the basketball, yes we do. So there's plenty of blame to go around, but the number one blame goes with Ben Simmons."
Simmons has reportedly told the team he's dealing with mental health issues. He has taken his share of criticism since the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the summer when he failed to make easy shots in the series against the Atlanta Hawks. There were rumors of Simmons being traded, but it looks like the team is sticking with him and getting him the help that he needs.
"Things seem to be moving very much in a positive direction," team president Daryl Morey told NBC Sports Philadelphia on Sunday, per Bleacher Report. "We're gonna provide all the resources and give Ben what he needs, and get him out there as soon as we can."