Ben Simmons might be long gone from the Philadelphia 76ers, but he still lives rent-free in the minds of many Sixers fans. Add Daryl Morey to that bunch, as well.
The Simmons-Sixers marriage came to a crashing end last summer when the former No. 1 pick requested a trade out of Philadelphia. Morey, Philadelphia’s GM, held firm against shipping Simmons for pennies on the dollar.
But over his tenure in Philadelphia, Simmons was often roasted by fans over his lack of interest and perceived entitlement. And it’s true: playing in Philadelphia requires a certain mentality that sets it apart from other cities. And recently, Morey went on the record to describe what it takes to play in the City of Brotherly Love, potentially taking a dig at Simmons in the process.
“And I never understood this, being in Houston when people would say, ‘Oh, you need to have a special mindset to play in Philly. You need to have a special mindset to play in, maybe, New York.’ Although I think that’s less true. Honestly, I can only speak to Philadelphia because I’ve been here now. I do think, I really do pay attention to the mindset of the players. Can they handle playing in Philadelphia? Because I do think it’s a different thing,” Morey said on an episode of The Take Off with John Clark on September 13.
“I’d say the biggest surprise is the players who can’t play here”
“I really do pay attention to the mindset of players. Can they handle playing in Philadelphia? Because I do think it’s a different thing”
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 15, 2022
Perhaps Morey learned a thing or two about mentality in the Ben Simmons debacle. But that’s not the only thing Morey had to say about players’ mentality when coming to Philadelphia.
Morey Reveals the ‘Biggest Surprise’ in Philadelphia
Roster construction and team-building are part of the job description for general managers. But the practice, as Morey insinuated, isn’t always science. What looks good on paper — playing a tall defensive ace with playmaking bonafide at point guard — might not work out in reality — like when that point guard refuses to develop a jump shot.
But even harder than that is finding a player that can withstand criticism from the crowds and local press. And that’s a significant hurdle …read more