Big Ballers and No Shot Callers: Simmons and Rubin Have an Epic Start to the Offseason

Written By Katie Kohler on July 6, 2021 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024
Michael Rubin and Ben Simmons get off to hot start in offseason.

It’s been just over two weeks since the Philadelphia Sixers were eliminated from the 2021 NBA Playoffs. The Sixers have not advanced past the second round since 2001. The Atlanta Hawks not only sent the 76ers home in seven games, the series revealed major flaws in “The Process”and turned Sixers futures bets into trashed tickets.

The top three teams by bet count to win the NBA Championship during the regular season at FanDuel were the Brooklyn Nets, the 76ers, and the Phoenix Suns. The 2021 NBA Finals tips off tonight with the Suns who opened the season at +4900 to win the Championship hosting the Milwaukee Bucks.

Pennsylvania sports betting apps favor the Suns (-195) to win the series against the Bucks (+165).

For the Sixers, part-owner Michael Rubin is already having an epic summer and, for embattled star Ben Simmons, perhaps love is the answer.

Ben Simmons’ awful playoff performance

The 2021 playoffs were a nightmare for Ben Simmons.

Less than 24 hours after losing to the Atlanta Hawks, PointsBet Sportsbook had odds for where Simmons would be traded. The Portland Trailblazers had the best odds.

In late June, Simmons’ agent Rich Paul announced that he would not compete in the Tokyo Olympics with the Australian team. Simmons told Australia head coach Brian Goorjian that he is focusing on “individual skill development,” according to a Basketball Australia press release.

Simmons’ summer of love

Some Sixers fans are still breaking out in night sweats over the Hawks series and spending their days brainstorming Simmons’ trade destination. However, Simmons and the rest of the Sixers’ players are officially in their offseason. So, like any employee with vacation time, they are encouraged to use it.

Simmons, formerly linked to Kendall Jenner, appears to have taken another shot at finding love this summer.

Since the Sixers were eliminated, Simmons, who usually posts regularly on Instagram, has gone silent. His last Instagram post was on June 18 which has over 23,500 comments that are as brutal as his free throw shooting.

Simmons “returned” to social media and further fueled rumors of a romance with Maya Jama, a British TV and radio personality. What very much looked like the back of Simmons’ appeared in Jama’s Instagram story on July 5.

The couple was also spotted watching the England versus Ukraine EURO 2020 game together.

Simmons and Jama pretty much confirmed the “rumors” when they were spotted kissing at the All England Club in Wimbledon on July 5.

Michael Rubin and Fanatics gear up for sports betting expansion

George Costanza vowed to make it a “The Summer of George.” We doubt it could compare to “The Summer of Michael Rubin.”

Rubin, the Sixers co-owner and Fanatics executive chairman, appears to be gearing up the licensed sports merchandising company to enter the sports betting industry. Fanatics hired ex-FanDuel CEO Matt King who left the sports betting behemoth in May.

According to the sources for the New York Post, Rubin “put King in charge of the company’s gambling and gaming venture. Fanatics has been laying the groundwork for its expansion beyond merchandise and into gaming for several months.”

King was with FanDuel for the past four years and helped lead them to one of the top sports betting apps in the post-PAPSA world of legalized sports betting in the United States. Since its launch in PA, FanDuel has held the top spot for handle and revenue.

In addition to King, Fanatics also hired former Los Angeles Dodgers executive Tucker Kain to help the company “expand beyond merchandise.”

Rubin’s party rocks the Hamptons

Sixers fans may be questioning “The Process” and if Simmons will ever shoot a jumper. But there should be no doubt that Rubin knows how to throw a party.

For his Fourth of July “white party,” he eschewed the group text or evites and sent out over one hundred custom bottles of Jay-Z’s Ace of Spades champagne as invitations.  According to Page Six, locals who didn’t make the list offered up to $20k for an invite making my – “I’ll just show up with homemade potato salad and a bottle of Dom Perignon”  idea look silly.

The bash lived up to the hype. Jay-Z and Beyonce were there. Some sports figures at the party included Robert Kraft, James Harden, Rob Manfred, P.K. Subban, Michael Strahan, LeSean McCoy.

A Page Six source described the scene as  “epic, even for the Hamptons… a full-on music festival spontaneously broke out.” One of the performers at the party was Tineshe (an ex of Simmons).

If this is what the Fourth of July party was like, imagine the Sixers Championship parade.

Now, on to the two teams who could be planning a parade soon.

2021 NBA Finals Betting Preview

(Odds via FanDuel)

Series Spread

  • Bucks (+1.5) -140
    Sunda (-1.5) +114

Series total games

  • 4 games:+600
  • 5 games: +240
  • 6 games: +200
  • 7 games: +190

Series correct score

  • Bucks 4-0: +2500
  • Suns 4-0: +800
  • Bucks 4-1: +1100
  • Suns 4-1: +340
  • Bucks 4-2: +500
  • Suns 4-2: +470
  • Bucks 4-3: +600
  • Suns 4-3: +360

NBA Finals 2021 MVP

  • Chris Paul: +160
  • Devin Booker: +250
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo: +500
  • Khris Middleton: +500
  • Jrue Holiday: +800
  • Full odds on app

2021 NBA Finals betting stats

Stats via DraftKings

  • In the playoffs, the Suns are the most profitable team at 11-5 ATS. The Bucks are 10-7 ATS
  • In Game 1, the Suns have a 69% win probability.
  • The Bucks cover the spread 47.8% of the time. The Suns cover 61.4% of the time.
  • Bucks over/under record 47-41. Suns over/under record 48-39-1.

Lead photo from Michael Rubin’s Instagram.

Katie Kohler Avatar
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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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