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Rumor: Ben Simmons skipped town on Sixers

Ben Simmons, Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers are a bit of a mess right now. It’s not really of their own doing, though, with the league’s COVID-19 health protocols costing the Sixers virtually half of their squad. To make matters worse, however, there are rumors out there that star Ben Simmons allegedly skipped town on his team following Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill shed some light on the matter in a recent appearance on the Posted Up podcast with Chris Haynes (h/t Hoops Distillery):

“The 76ers decided that night [after Seth Curry being pulled from the second half of game vs. Nets due to a COVID-19 test that came back positive] we are going to stay in New York while everything gets sorted out,” Goodwill reported. “What I have gathered was that Ben Simmons left New York that evening. He left New York and went to Philadelphia. Gotta…you know…apparently probably hired a driver from a service…..the team clearly found out.”

Yikes. Simmons’ reason behind his decision to leave New York that same night was not specified, but regardless, this is a clear violation of both team and league policy if true. What makes this even more irresponsible is the fact that Simmons should have been self-isolating after being exposed to a teammate (Curry) who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Goodwill then went on to relay the events that transpired after Simmons’ departure:

“Here’s the one thing that we do know, Chris, because of the restaurant protocols and everything else that certain restaurants in places that you can’t go to,” he continued. “There are no restaurants in New York City that are approved [by the NBA], so if a team is staying in New York City they need to stay there. Apparently Ben Simmons said, ‘nah, I’m out’…I’m headed out, got a driver, went back to Philly. I believe the team found out. And I believe team security, as you know, team security knows these things, they’re like the CIA, you know what mean? They know what the writers are doing. This is like some serious stuff. So, they find out, Ben Simmons has to come back…and ‘magically’ he ends up on the injury report the next day, not playing’. Who knows how you want to connect the dots.”

True enough, Simmons was a notable absence in the Sixers’ bout against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, with the All-Star point guard being tagged late with a knee injury. The Australian also ended up missing Monday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, although reports are saying that he could be back in action on Tuesday when the Sixers host the Miami Heat in Philadelphia.

Philly was slapped with a $25,000 fine for not reporting Ben Simmons’ injury in a proper fashion. If Goodwill’s reporting is to believed, perhaps the Sixers were willing to take a fine to help cover for what really happened? We may very well find out soon enough.