It’s been a spirited year for three-time NBA All-Star Ben Simmons, both on the court, where lately he’s become almost as well known for not playing as he is playing, and in the real estate business.
The 6’11” 25-year-old forward, who signed as a teenager with the Philadelphia 76ers as the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, missed his first season through injury , but was named NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2017-18 season, several hugely successful seasons followed, and in 2019 he signed a five-year contract extension worth a staggering $170 million.
Alas, a disappointing 2020-21 playoff season in which he struggled to get the ball in the basket, both from the field and the free throw line, led to a lackluster start to the 2021-22 season. His failure to get his game on track and the intense scrutiny from fans, coaches and the media only added to the frustration and heightened tensions. Simmons was repeatedly kicked out of practice, suspended for one game, and became the most fined player in NBA history for the many games he skipped. Then, towards the end of last summer, he asked for an exchange from the 76ers, a rare request from a top player.
Simmons got his wish earlier this year when he was traded in a blockbuster deal to the Brooklyn Nets that included Andre Drummond and Seth Curry. He was, however, almost immediately sidelined for the entire season due to a herniated disc. Last week he underwent back surgery and we don’t expect him to come back on the field until the start of training camp next season.
Amid the turmoil, Simmons has also taken steps to shake up his real estate portfolio across the country. Last summer he dropped $17.5million on a ‘modern farmhouse’ in the posh Los Angeles suburb of Hidden Hills, where several of his former girlfriend Kendall Jenner’s family members are famous for their big spreads . And shortly after asking for the exchange last fall, he hoisted his luxury condo at the Ritz Carlton Residences in downtown Philadelphia on the market at $3.1 million; the asking price has since dropped to just under $3 million.
Determined to put Philly in his rearview mirror before a trade was even announced, Simmons also put another one of his houses on the marketlast fall, this one in Moorestown, NJ, a 40-minute drive from where the 76ers play. The asking price was $5 million.