No. Why would you insult the fans that have supported your organization through thick & thin during this entire rebuild and competitive process? Why would you hurt your already mediocre standing as the go-to destination for basketball talent by allowing the fans/city to be portrayed as running off one of your stars?
For Ben Simmons? The player who gladly cashed your checks and got the fame & media attention while not working on his game, not being a team player and now holding your organization hostage because of his hurt feelings and highly inflated sense of entitlement?
Would the Eagles have thrown the fans under the bus to defend TO? Never and they rightfully so kicked TO to the curb as fast as they could for the benefit of their team, fans, organization and league. Accountability is not just words; it needs to have real consequences and, for far too long, Simmons has not only never been held accountable, but has been enabled to continue his bad behavior.
No, it should be exactly the opposite approach. Of course you take the high road and do not bash him publicly, but the appeasement and enabling must end and should have ended long ago. Your head coach, GM and whoever else is involved needs to be told to stop talking about the issue. You need to make clear that this is a choice by Simmons, not the 76ers and that you want & expect him to join the team, honor his contract and work his tail off to help the team win.
That is the best option for all parties involved and always has been, but Simmons believes he is above all that and has clearly put himself ahead of the team, the fans and the organization. That is on him.