In his first game after ultimately not being included in a trade for James Harden, All-Star Ben Simmons had a triple-double — 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists — in 34 minutes Thursday to lead the 76ers to a 125-108 victory over the Miami Heat in Philadelphia. Afterward, he called trade talks just part of life as an NBA player. “I mean, this a business,” Simmons said, when asked if he was happy the Harden discussions are behind him after the 2018 NBA MVP was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal that was made official Thursday. “Things like that happen. Only thing I can control is, you know, how I approach my workouts, the games and my day-to-day thing. So, you know, I’m just trying to be professional and to do the right thing and help my team get wins.”
The Rockets on Wednesday agreed to trade Harden to the Brooklyn Nets. Shortly thereafter, the following conversation took place on “The Ryen Russillo Podcast” between Russillo, Bill Simmons and Jackie MacMullan: Simmons: “The sleeping giant of this whole Harden sweepstakes was Golden State. And I don’t think they were in it. But if they had decided to get into it …” Russillo: “I heard he, um … he was not … he and [Kevin] Durant are close, and Durant wanted him to leave (Houston). So I think there was some communication …” Simmons: “There was some Steve Kerr stuff.”
Wednesday’s Nets-Knicks NBA regular season game averaged 1.18 million viewers on ESPN, up 27% from Nets-Sixers on the comparable January date last year (934K), but down 32% from Bucks-Rockets in 2019 (1.73M). The game aired in the hours after news broke of Brooklyn’s trade for James Harden. The Pelicans-Clippers nightcap chipped in 987,000 (-13%).
Storyline: TV Ratings