Eagles’ Jason Kelce offers blunt advice to 76ers’ Ben Simmons: ‘Just play better’

Eagles heart Jason Kelce has performed his total 11-year profession in Philadelphia, residence to one of many nation’s hardest fan bases. He is aware of firsthand how tough it may be to play within the metropolis of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons started his profession underneath scrutiny because the No. 1 total decide, however after a string of playoff disappointments, he is now searching for a commerce. 

Whereas the 76ers have but to deal Simmons, Kelce gave Simmons some blunt recommendation on find out how to deal with Philadelphia followers till his much-anticipated departure: “Simply play higher.”   

“I do not wish to crush some other gamers, however what is going on on with the 76ers, Ben Simmons, stuff like that, all of that’s due to an absence of accountability, an absence of proudly owning as much as errors and an absence of correcting issues,” Kelce said. “If all that obtained corrected, in case you’re fixing free throws, in case you’re getting higher as a participant, none of that is occurring. So everyone can bitch and complain about how robust this metropolis is to play in. Simply play higher, man. This metropolis will love you.”

Kelce, a four-time Professional Bowler and three-time All-Professional, is among the most beloved sports activities figures in Philadelphia historical past. The ultra-athletic heart was a part of the Eagles group that defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and he celebrated as arduous because the Philadelphia followers within the ensuing championship parade. 

Simmons has shriveled in high-leverage conditions the place Kelce has shined. In Recreation 7 of final season’s Jap Convention Semifinals, Simmons handed up a wide-open dunk that will’ve tied the sport with 4 minutes remaining. Simmons’ top-seeded 76ers ultimately misplaced to the fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks in one of many largest playoff flameouts in current reminiscence. 

After the season, Simmons requested a trade from Philadelphia then held out most of coaching camp. The three-time All-Star returned to apply final week however purely to keep away from additional fines, as he was disengaged sufficient for coach Doc Rivers to name him a “distraction” and kick him out of Tuesday’s session. 

Simmons missed the 76ers’ season-opening win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday whereas serving a one-game suspension for Tuesday’s incident. If he does play for Philadelphia going ahead, Kelce says going arduous will alleviate the negativity that may undoubtedly encompass him in his preliminary return to Wells Fargo Middle.

“There’s lots of people that say it is a arduous place to play,” Kelce stated. “I feel it is fairly f—ing straightforward, to be sincere with you. You simply go on the market and play arduous. You wish to be beloved on this metropolis as a baseball participant? Run to first base. They’ll f—ing love you. That is what it comes all the way down to. If you happen to come up right here and make a bunch of excuses, you come up right here and attempt to deceive them and act like they do not know what they’re speaking about — which typically they do not — whenever you act that approach otherwise you aren’t accountable, you are making errors otherwise you’re not getting higher, they’ll crush you.

“Everyone’s going to get crushed in some unspecified time in the future, everyone goes to undergo a downturn and be struggling, and always this metropolis goes to maintain you accountable for doing all your job and performing. However in case you stick with it and also you battle via it and also you get higher, they’re going to respect the hell out of you. Even in case you’re struggling and also you’re combating and also you’re attempting, they’re nonetheless going to respect you. That is what I feel most guys miss. I actually do not assume this can be a arduous place to play in any respect. I feel a tough place to play is … I feel it will be depressing to play in a spot like Jacksonville, the place no person cares.”

The 76ers envisioned a dynastic core of Simmons and Joel Embiid, however the pair has but to achieve an NBA Finals and is now on the point of separation. Kelce says the state of affairs is a “travesty” from each an on- and off-court perspective. 

“These guys had been all introduced in right here, a whole lot of expertise, and it hasn’t labored out for them for no matter motive,” Kelce stated. “But it surely’s a reasonably good instance of how to not deal with the Philly media, on the very least.”

Simmons will not make his season debut in Friday’s residence opener towards the Brooklyn Nets as a result of he is not “mentally ready” to play, in response to The Athletic. The previous No. 1 decide will proceed lacking video games for an undetermined time period. | Eagles’ Jason Kelce gives blunt recommendation to 76ers’ Ben Simmons: ‘Simply play higher’


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