Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has been the favorite target of basketball analysts since his conflict with the Philadelphia 76ers. Though the 76ers chapter is all over, critics are still slamming Simmons, especially after news broke out that he had injured his back. This time around, Simmons did not absorb all the criticism sitting down, hinting that he deserves an apology from Shaquille O’Neal, Stephen A. Smith, and every analyst who dissed him.
Doc Holiday released a video of himself defending Simmons. For Holiday, the likes of Shaq, Smith, and Kendrick Perkins owe Simmons an apology. Simmons, whose Twitter feed is filled with retweets, retweeted Holiday’s video.
“Screamin’ A. Smith, Shaq, Barkley, Reggie Miller, Kendrick Perkins, Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe, and all those other national media personalities that made fun of that man. Shaq, [saying] he punked out. Stephen A. Smith talked about all other things about his mental capacity and all of that. Are y’all going to apologize to that man? Who literally has a hurt back.”
There were hopes that Simmons would suit up in the first round of the playoffs to help his team advance against an outstanding Boston Celtics team. The Nets were in desperate need of a playmaker like Simmons because Durant, on the other hand, despite having a great season in terms of passing the rock, could only do so much against the dreaded Celtics defense.
After the Nets were booted out, critics pointed the blame at Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the organization. Simmons was able to dodge the hate. But upon the announcement that the Australian had an ailing back, he was thrown back into the shooting range for target practice.
Smith claps back
Smith, who’s proven to be a gregarious speaker and a diligent researcher, noticed Simmons’ tweet and clapped back. He noted that in NBA history, numerous players have mustered up their injuries and suited up. Smith could not accept the fact that Simmons refused to play and is even trying to snatch back the money he lost due to fines and absences.
“There’s plenty of players who we’ve seen throughout NBA history that have ended up having to have a procedure on their back – but they played. And they played, and they got injured or whatever, they still tried to play through it, and then obviously they needed a surgical procedure in the offseason. They didn’t just sit on the bench for a year and not play one second of basketball while filing grievances to get back $20 million in salary,” Smith said, per USA Today.
It will be interesting to see where the rivalry between Simmons and these analysts goes. The retweet proves that Simmons is indeed feeling the heat. Once he suits up, expect more people to criticize him for every bad game. The only way to shut them up is by piling up the victories, which is something he and the Brooklyn Nets will desperately need next season.