Danny Green is one Sixers player who tends not to hold back. Being number 38 on the all-time made threes leaderboard, and a three-time NBA champion may afford the Long Island native more of a voice than other players can get away with.
A recent episode of Danny Green’s podcast, “Inside the Green Room” provides a glimpse into Green’s perspective on Ben Simmons’ relationship with a pair of former Sixers (who went with Simmons in the James Harden trade) Seth Curry and Andre Drummond.
Green also speculates on if he thinks the former first overall pick will suit up for the looming March 10 showdown at Wells Fargo Center between the Sixers and Ben’s new team, the Brooklyn Nets.
Per the pod, Green admits things may have been rocky towards the end there in Philly between Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond.
Per Green, speaking with cohost Harrison Sanford:
Green: “Interesting dynamic of how things went down. Interesting dynamic of who went with him. I don’t know- I haven’t got a chance to talk to those guys yet, but I know they weren’t on the most cordial terms when he was in Philly with Drum and Seth [Seth Curry and Andre Drummond]. So I wonder how that relationship is now.”
What could Green mean here, that things weren’t “on the most cordial terms?” Does he mean it literally, that things simply weren’t cordial? Is he using a bit of understatement to suggest there was some serious tension or even an incident? Maybe something in-between. Were there some Ben smack-talk sessions on team flights when Simmons wasn’t around, that Green is thinking about? Was Curry in on those?
It’s not hard to imagine things being awkward or icy between Simmons and any of his former teammates. But what about the ones he’s still sharing a locker room with?
Recall, Simmons was kicked out of a practice back in October:
Source confirms Ben Simmons would not sub into a drill when asked to by Doc Rivers— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 19, 2021
Doc told Ben he was being a distraction and asked him to leave practice
I’m told Ben has been in and out physically and mentally since reporting to Sixers pic.twitter.com/0MGFva7Vf6
The image of a sulking Simmons doing his best to get himself traded might have wore on even the most understanding and patient teammates.
Green’s comments leave us to wonder if things were cordial with some guys and not as much with others. For example, was Furkan Korkmaz or Matisse Thybulle more friendly with Simmons? Does Green have specific intel on how Seth Curry feels?
Andre Drummond and Simmons have already been seen together on the Nets bench, appearing pretty friendly. Drummond seemed to admire a flashy chain Simmons wore during one YES Network broadcast last week.
You never know, but it doesn’t seem like there’s much bad blood between those two right now. After all, those two have yet to appear in a game in Philly or Brooklyn. But maybe things with Curry and Simmons go back to the 2021 season and the team’s unceremonious playoff exit?
We may never learn if Curry harbors ill will towards his current teammate. He has commented on how positive the vibe is in Brooklyn so far, but what else would he say?
But it does sound like things were at least a little tense prior to the blockbuster trade.
As for the other matter, Green doesn’t expect Simmons to play in that pending showdown, but if he did, Green Ranger 14 wouldn’t avoid a hand shake.
Green: “Now will we shake hands to start? Probably not. First, I’d be highly surprised if he even plays in that game. I don’t know where his health is mentally, physically, I know he had other issues, and we all know he does not like to play in Philly. If he does play in that game, I’d be highly surprised. But say that does happen, I see it as being a very hectic, playoff-like atmosphere and environment to where it may be very rough for him.... I don’t have any ill will toward the guy, I don’t hate him I don’t dislike him, it’s just for me, it’s whatever. I waste more energy going out of my way to dislike him, or spend energy trying to go out of my way to hate him or do things to him. If he comes up and shows love, I’ll say what’s up, that’s the type of deal I’m on. I’m not the type of guy to not say what’s up to people that say what’s up to me.
Sanford: Let bygones be bygones.
Green: That’s it, let bygones be bygones. I understand you have a mental health issue, I understand you don’t want to play where you want to — whatever it is, you did what you needed to do to make better for you in your life. That’s cool. Do I think you could have handled it better? For sure, because we had nothing against you as teammates, still have nothing against you.... But it all depends how that game goes, how he interacts in that game, how well he plays or how cleanly or not cleanly, he or us plays, against each other is gonna determine how we shake hands.”
Green talks about how he would be highly surprised if Simmons appears in that one. If he did, you can only imagine the atmosphere in that Philadelphia arena.
Yesterday, Nets GM Sean Marks said it would be tough for Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons to be ready to go in the next “three or four days” but that they’re both making progress. It doesn’t seem farfetched Simmons might be active between today and that contest.
But would he play in a sure-to-be hostile environment is the better question. It’s very intriguing Green mentions the game might be “clean” or “not clean.”
If that portion of the clip makes its way back to the Nets, one might imagine that type of phrasing will only ramp up this budding rivalry. Is Green hinting that there could be some flagrant fouls?
Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid took turns waving goodbye at each other in earlier match-ups. A not-so-clean foul by either team might be gas on an already blazing fire.
The whole thing is fascinating and fans can only hope Simmons is ready to roll for that game. We’ll have our popcorn ready.