Eagles' Kelce criticizes Simmons: 'Just play better, man'
Warning: Story contains coarse language
While speaking about the relationship between Philadelphia and its athletes at a press conference, Kelce said the Simmons situation boils down to "a lack of accountability."
"If all that got corrected, if you're fixing free throws, if you're getting better as a player, none of this is happening," Kelce said. "So everybody can b---- and complain about how tough this city is to play in - just play better, man. This city will love you."
Kelce added, "There's a lot of people that say it's a hard place to play. I think it's pretty f------ easy, to be honest with you: You just go out there and play hard."
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers asked Simmons to leave practice Tuesday after the three-time All-Star reportedly declined to participate in defensive drills.
Simmons was subsequently suspended for the 76ers' season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. He was also reportedly fined $1.4 million for missing the team's four preseason games, plus other fines for the other practices and activities he missed while he attempted to force a trade.
Kelce said he doesn't have anything against the NBA star, but he considers the situation "a travesty any way you put it," according to ESPN's Tim McManus.
"These guys were all brought in here, a lot of talent, and it hasn't worked out for them for whatever reason," Kelce said of the 76ers. "But it's a pretty good example of how not to handle the Philly media, at the very least."
Kelce, 33, has spent 11 seasons with the Eagles, earning three All-Pro nods and three Pro Bowl appearances. He became beloved in Philadelphia when he helped the franchise earn its first Super Bowl title.