Ben Simmons and his recent situation in Brooklyn was mentioned on Wednesday’s episode of the “Pat McAfee Show." During the show, Shams Charania voiced his opinion on what he believes this offseason holds for Simmons.
This off-season will be most important of Ben Simmons’ career
When asked what he believes Simmons' future holds, Shams Charania answered:
“This is the most important offseason for Ben Simmons’ career … At some point, it becomes Ben Simmons is gonna have to take ownership and is gonna have to take a level of accountability.”
Ben Simmons has still not played basketball since holding out after his poor 2020-2021 NBA playoff performance.
Failing to attempt a single shot in the final quarter in five out of his seven games during the 76ers series against the Atlanta Hawks, Simmons left much to be desired. Shooting 15-for-45 on foul shots for a percentage of 33% gained him the worst free throw percentage in NBA playoffs history for a player with, at least, 70 attempts. In Game 7 of that series, he capped off his poor performance by passing up a wide-open dunk for a pass, only to end the game with a mere five points, eight rebounds, and one steal, as his team lost the series.
Since Brooklyn received the star in their James Harden trade, Simmons has been pushing back when he plans to hit the court. The most recent rumor was that he was supposed to be on the floor for Game 4 of Brooklyn’s series against the Celtics. Simmons then backed out due to “back pain” and sat on the bench in casual clothing.
Though Simmons has not played basketball for an entire season, he debatably still could have been a difference against the Boston Celtics for the Nets. The Celtics and their defensive greats were aggressive on all ends of the court. Having someone like a peak defensive Simmons on the back end could have helped tremendously.
But, as mentioned, Simmons has not played a game in the NBA for far too long to be trusted in a possible series close out game against a team like the Celtics. He may have been included in the trade for James Harden, but he has yet to prove to anybody that he was worth it.
As for James Harden, his decision to leave Brooklyn stands well at the moment. He and Joel Embiid’s 76ers are still alive and kicking in their round. Though they had the series up 3-0, the Toronto Raptors have won two games straight to bring the series to 3-2. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs to come back and win the series, but Toronto hopes to change that. If they can manage, both James Harden and the Nets will have been eliminated in the same round of this year's playoffs.
Ben Simmons has noted that the back pain he is feeling is due to stress triggers. With that being said, Shams Charania outlines that Simmons needs to take things into his own hands if his squad cannot find him the help he needs. He needs to start being the one to show people that he still has a fire lit inside of him to play basketball.