Philadelphia 76ers: Rich Paul underestimated Daryl Morey’s stubbornness

Hey friend, have you heard the news? Ben Simmons is (basically) back with the Philadelphia 76ers.

I know, I know, did the aliens land? Did the Jersey Devil finally leave the Pine Barrens? Did Justin Bieber finally say never? Who’da ever thought this day would come after months and months of being told Simmons would never, ever, ever return to the team?

You know, you don’t just up and list your house for sale if you plan on returning to a team shortly thereafter, especially when said house is being listed at an absolute bargain bin price of $3.5 million.

Fun fact: If Simons had continued on with his holdout, the Sixers could have purchased said house with the money they’re collecting from fines by the second week of the regular season.

But how did we get to this point, assuming it actually comes to fruition as Adrian Wojnarowski has suggested? Easy, through sheer stubbornness on the part of Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Drama only makes the Philadelphia 76ers stronger.

It seems like a day hasn’t gone by in months without someone talking trash on how the Philadelphia 76ers have handled the Ben Simmons situation.

Some have called the fanbase unsupportive, overly critical, or downright vindictive, while others have criticized the team’s reported astronomical asking price for the superstar point guard, his All-Star appearances, and defensive accolades seemingly notwithstanding.

To a lesser franchise that can’t take the heat of such a public lashing, Simmons’ holdout would have surely resulted in a move by now, even if it was for pennies on the dollar.

But friends, there was a severe miscalculation in the plans of Simmons and Rich Paul that has thus far money wrenched their plans like a darn Foo Fighters song: The Sixers have absolutely no shame.

I mean, we’re talking about a franchise that was so committed to losing games that they forced a change to the NBA Lottery system. Do you really think a team that near single-handedly kept Stubhub afloat for three calenders years cares about a little bad press?

If reports about Josh Harris meeting with Simmons’ camp are of any indication, it would appear the entire organization was on board with squelching the league’s first NFL-style holdout in ages.

When that many millionaires want to make a point, you know you’re in trouble.

So where does that leave the 76ers now? Will Simmons eventually return to the court as if nothing happened, and suddenly, the boundless spacing of playing Joel Embiid with four shooters fades back into the basketball ether? Or is this more of a symbolic return where Simmons attempts to build goodwill around the league, and the next time he steps in the court of “The Center” will be in another uniform?

Needless to say, this is far from the end of the NBA’s second-weirdest holdout of the preseason.

There’s no doubt about it; the Philadelphia 76ers won this round versus Rich Paul and company, but what exactly is their prize? Getting back a disgruntled All-Star who makes the team’s offense demonstrably worse and kicks this can even further down the road? There’s no doubt about it; Ben Simmons will be the best player included in a Ben Simmons trade, which is why this situation is so gosh darn untenable moving forward.