Check out any list of the most hated players in the NBA right now and you’re sure to find Ben Simmons’ name either near or at the very top. Much of that has to do with his seemingly careless attitude and his lack of drive to be the superstar that many thought he’d be when he was taken by the 76ers with the first overall pick of the 2016 draft.
And he certainly isn’t doing himself any favors with his latest announcement.
Simmons hasn’t played since the 2021 playoffs, but he was expected to make his highly-anticipated debut later tonight, when the Brooklyn Nets attempt to stay alive in Game 4 of their first round series against the Boston Celtics. However, reports now indicate that Simmons will miss yet another game because he woke up with some back soreness on Sunday after taking part in the team’s practice one day earlier.
Back soreness? When your team’s entire season is on the line? I’d love to see the look on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s faces when they heard this breaking news.
We didn’t get to see their reactions, but we have been treated to several takes on Ben Simmons’ extended absence from some of the biggest names in the NBA media. And to say that they went off on the injured point guard would be an understatement.
First up to bat was Stephen A. Smith, who used words like “pathetic,” “sad” and “quitter” to describe the whole Ben Simmons fiasco.
Colin Cowherd took a kinder approach, somewhat sarcastically referring to Simmons as a “reliable teammate in crisis.”
Perhaps the most critical takes on Simmons came from two former players-turned-analysts in Reggie Miller and Kendrick Perkins. The former took to Twitter to call out Simmons’ lack of “competitive fire,” while the latter referred to Ben’s 2021-22 season as “the biggest heist in NBA history.”
No matter which way you describe it, this is not a good look for Simmons. If the Nets are bounced from the playoffs tonight, he will officially go the entire 2021-2022 season without playing a single game — and yet, he’s still filing a grievance to recoup nearly $20-million that he didn’t receive from the 76ers this season.
Twenty million dollars just to watch an entire season from the sidelines while quitting on, not one, but two teams? Perkins is right. Simmons is legitimately on the verge of completing the biggest heist in NBA history.