Ben Simmons Is Weak And Should Not Be Rewarded With His Trade Demands by Robert Covington Jr.
Hey fellow Philadelphians. We are witnessing one of the saddest displays of a man’s weakness, lack of mental toughness and refusal to look in the mirror at himself play out in the Ben Simmons saga. As Philadelphians, we’ve witnessed for five long, excruciating years, a man making millions of dollars that refuses to develop his game in any meaningful way. What we’ve endured is Ben Simmons getting by on talent and athleticism alone, and for him that was enough.
Ben Simmons was able to look at himself and say, even though I’m the worst shooting point guard in the league, I’m cool with that. Even though he’s been a perennial liability on the basketball floor in the playoffs because he can’t shoot a lick, Simmons felt no obligation to himself, his teammates, ownership and the fans that pay his huge salary( 4 years left at 133 million), to elevate his game and make the 76ers a real contender for the NBA championship.
This past year, the basketball Gods have had enough of Ben Simmons selfishness, unwillingness to improve and arrogance. The 76ers playoff run ended in complete basketball humiliation for Ben Simmons. The world watched Ben Simmons disappear in the fourth quarter of games and coaches engaged in hack a Ben to get him to the foul line because he’s horrible at that too. We watched fellow NBA players like Atlanta Hawks all star point guard Trey Young play psychological games by walking in front of Simmons with a shooting reference to say that it’s to the Hawks advantage to get Simmons to shoot from the line. The swag Simmons shows on a breakaway dunk sputters into avoidance when he has to shoot the ball. This reality culminated with Simmons passing up an easy dunk in a pivotal Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. His confidence by that point was ruined.
The season ended in huge disappointment for Ben Simmons and the 76ers. We can all agree if Simmons had a jump shot, there was no way in hell that the Hawks win that series. Since that devastating loss, the only thing we’ve heard is that Ben Simmons does not want to play for the 76ers organization anymore. He’s publicly asked for a trade, suggested that he will sit out the season if necessary and does not want to meet up with teammates.
As I’ve outlined in this piece, this response from Ben Simmons is entirely consistent with his NBA profile. He blames others for his failures, is emotionally immature and does not want to be great at his craft. Philly fans have supported Ben Simmons his whole time in our great city. Now he wants out. Stephen A. Smith on his show First Take a few months ago, shared a text from a 76er insider saying that Ben Simmons is coddled, babied by his inner circle and does not work on his game. All believable as the evidence has shown us.
I really hope the 76ers do not trade Ben Simmons before the season starts. As they have learned, nobody wants to give up serious assets for Ben Simmons because everyone saw what we saw — a talented basketball player with no heart, limited game and mentally weak. Force Ben Simmons to either give up part of his salary by sitting out, or come to training camp. The 76ers need to play hardball with Simmons. He cannot get his way.
I would venture to say that if the past is prologue, Simmons has done very little in developing his jump shot, again. If he did, Simmons would be eager to play for the 76ers to show his teammates, the fans and the NBA world that the 76ers have a real chance to win the championship now. To me, this is the crux right here. Simmons will have to shoot his way out of this predicament. Until then, 76ers should stand pat and force Simmons to show the world that he’s either developed a legitimate jump shot or lose a lot of money to let everyone know that he hasn’t.
Follow me on twitter: @robcovingtonjr