This year’s Playoff woes were just the tip of the iceberg for Ben Simmons. According to Danny Green, the All-Star point guard had to deal with stuff unrelated to the game throughout the entire NBA season.
Off the court with his family things back home, and he doesn’t necessarily discuss it with us in private, but I knew he was going through a lot. He had some things going on during the season.Danny Green, Inside the Green Room
The off-court stuff caused a chain reaction which culminated on the court, resulting in passive offensive performances even for Ben’s standard. Something like that is common, independent of one’s career– people have a hard time not letting the personal stuff affect the professional. But that’s just one thing that held Simmons back this year. The other, according to Green, is his mentality.
Ben’s the type of kid; if he’s not encouraged, and he’s not pushed or forced to do it, he’s not the type to take that risk. Obviously, he’s a high IQ guy. You can tell; he gets a lot of assists and pushing the pace, and he gets paid to do what he does because he’s so good at it, but he doesn’t step outside that box because he knows well enough ‘I’m good at this. I don’t need to step out. It’s not like I’m encouraged to do this, or I’m kind of afraid to do this type of thing.’Danny Green, Inside the Green Room
Simmons’ dependence on someone else’s incentive obviously isn’t exclusive for this season alone. The fact Ben’s the same offensive player he was when he entered the NBA proves it. It also proves that none of the coaches he had, including Doc Rivers, couldn’t light a fire under the Australian and force him to work on his jumper.
They were in a box of their own, settling for everything else Simmons has been able to do at the high level. However, a “but” was missing to push Ben towards taking that next step as a basketball player — what Green said about his performance in this year’s playoffs sums it up perfectly.
He still fought, he showed up, he still played, he still worked hard, he still tried to give us his best chance for us to win with doing what he does with screening, rolling, rebounding, defending, and he did to the highest capability could. Just offensively he wasn’t the Ben Simmons we needed him to be at the time.Danny Green, Inside the Green Room
Simmons is at the turning point of his NBA career. The status quo isn’t on the table anymore; it’s make-or-break time. If he stays with the 76ers, Green’s words should be the blueprint for the organization to help Ben turn it around. Because, as much as this is on the 24-year-old, the Sixers are to blame as well.
Simmons obviously couldn’t by himself, and internally, that’s something that should’ve been obvious. Now that it became public, it’s time for his team to act on it. The upside is huge for both parties involved, but the time to act is now!
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