Ben Simmons 'Likes' Skip Bayless Tweet Bashing James Harden, Praising Nets StarMay 13, 2022
Ben Simmons has been fairly quiet about his departure from the Philadelphia 76ers, but the three-time All-Star is letting his social media do some of his talking.
Following the Sixers' season-ending playoff loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday, Simmons liked a tweet from FS1's Skip Bayless that praised the Brooklyn Nets guard and was critical of the performance of James Harden, who the Sixers acquired in exchange for Simmons:
Simmons and Harden were two of the most-discussed NBA players this season. They became linked for weeks in trade rumors between the 76ers and Nets before the two teams struck a deal on Feb. 10.
Following the trade, Simmons told reporters his decision to request a trade from Philadelphia was just a "personal thing for me" and not "about the fans or coaches or comments made by anybody" in the wake of the team's playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks last season.
"That was earlier than that [playoff] series, or even that season that I was dealing with, and that organization knew that," he said. "So it's something that I continue to deal with, and I'm getting there and getting to the right place to get back on the floor."
Simmons didn't play for the Nets after the trade due to ongoing back problems. Head coach Steve Nash told reporters in March the 25-year-old had an epidural to help alleviate pain in his back.
There was some hope Simmons would be able to play in Brooklyn's playoff series against the Boston Celtics, but he wound up having microdiscectomy surgery to address pain caused by a herniated disc, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Harden, who has a $47.4 million player option for next season, appeared in 33 games for the 76ers between the regular season and playoffs. The 10-time All-Star was inconsistent as a scorer for the Sixers, averaging 21.0 points per game during the regular season, but he contributed 10.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds per contest.
Philadelphia's loss to the Heat on Thursday night was not a memorable one for Harden. He only attempted two shots and didn't score in the second half of the game. The 32-year-old scored fewer than 20 points four times in six games against Miami.