“This dude has done everything he can not to be re-recruited,” Barkley said on TNT’s popular “Inside The NBA” program, via Ky Carlin of USA Today. “They started the season begging him to come back, so they have massaged him. They wanted to go see him. He said ‘Don’t come see me.'”
Simmons, 25, has been seeking a trade and the 76ers reportedly remain engaged with at least 10 teams. He has yet to appear in a game, skipped a private workout, and was thrown out of practice by coach Doc Rivers a few weeks back for refusing to enter a drill.
Simmons reportedly has told 76ers director of basketball Daryl Morey he is not mentally ready to fully return to the team.
“He came and then he acted like a jerk in practice,” Barkley continued. “They wanted him back. Then, because he wanted to get paid, he came back, and he started acting like a jerk and they kicked him out. They gave him another chance.
“They said, ‘OK, you said you’ve got some issues.’ He said, ‘I don’t wanna see your guys.’ They start fining him, now he’s back. They’ve bent over backwards to kiss this dude’s (expletive). Now it’s time they start kicking his (expletive).”
A recent report from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey suggested Simmons does not intend to play another game for the 76ers.
“On a regular basis at the team’s Camden, N.J. practice facility, Simmons has engaged with teammates and members of the coaching staff in one-on-one scenarios but has not advanced to rejoin full team activities and it’s unclear when or if he will,” ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski wrote.