ben simmons
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Let it go, folks.

If you thought Philadelphia’s white-hot rage at Ben Simmons would subside after he was forced to show up and sit on the Nets’ bench like a verbal piñata at the Wells Fargo Center back in March, you were wrong. They just can’t get over the guy.

The latest example: Word broke Wednesday that new Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos would be buying Simmons’ palatial estate in Moorestown, New Jersey. The news was treated as a potential local crisis, from the ramifications of Castellanos living where Simmons once lived to the merits of Simmons’ interior decorating inside the $5 million home.

But all is well now because Castellanos’ mother, Michelle, showed up with a fitting housewarming gift — much to the joy of the angry denizens.


First off, an amazing goodwill gesture by the Castellanos family. Way to play to the room. That’s how you ingratiate yourself to a new city. It won’t stop people from booing Castellanos after he goes 0-for-4 with three strikeouts the first time, but they will certainly hesitate for a moment before they do boo.

Second, I feel bad for Philly that it can’t get over this. I mean, look at how they treated news of Simmons’ grievance against the Sixers like he was trying to steal the Liberty Bell. We get it: He was horrible in the postseason, he cost you a trip to the NBA Finals, the holdout, et cetera. But it’s over. You got rid of him, you got James Harden out of it (until he inevitably feuds with Joel Embiid and one of them gets traded) and the Nets now have to deal with Simmons.

It’s time to move on.

Or not!

It really is amazing how much energy and time society has burned over the last few years on two teams that will probably never win anything.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.