By Teddy Brenner

Ben Simmons is back in Philly, and it must be obvious to everyone that he’s trying to salvage some money and pride after he spent the offseason pissing on the Sixers and Philly from a great height.

He didn’t play last night in Detroit.

Which leads us to think he has not been vaxxed for COVID-19.

The last time he played was last June 20, in game of the Eastern semis against the Hawks, when he famously choked and didn’t dunk in a crucial period in crunch time.

Simmons’ stopped shooting in fourth quarters entirely in that series. He made just 34% of his free throws.

But did Simmons hit a previously unknown rock bottom before Game 7?

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Simmons was being held out of the team’s shootaround, he told them, due to a possible exposure to a team masseuse, who’d returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test.

Several players were questioned about whether they’d seen her that morning, but only Simmons said that he had.

“He answered the question honestly, without thinking of the implications,” says one source close to Simmons.

But according to multiple sources, many within the team questioned whether Simmons had actually seen the masseuse — or was just trying to get out of playing as he battled the basketball version of the yips.

Later in the day, the staffer and Simmons’ test results came back negative, according to sources, and he was cleared to play in the game. But he wasn’t in a good place, and neither were the Sixers.

“He was thrown,” the source says.