Ben Simmons has been one of the NBA's most polarizing figures for the past few seasons. Many analysts have taken turns criticizing the 26-year-old for seemingly forgetting how to play basketball. One of those who recently blasted Simmons is veteran commentator Michael Wilbon.
"He's not Ben Simmons anymore," Wilbon said while discussing Simmons' latest scoring "exploit" when he scored 11 points on Tuesday. "...The Nets are dreadful. There's no more benefit of the doubt. There's no more 'Big 3.' Kyrie [Irving] may play Sunday; I don't expect him to go on a run. The Nets are in big trouble, and Ben Simmons is not the guy who is drafted first and we saw become an All-Star, once averaged like 18 points a game. Now we're getting happy because he scored 11 in a game? Man, they're in trouble."
The Brooklyn Nets playmaker was an efficient scorer in his first four seasons in the NBA. During that stretch, the 6-foot-10 averaged 15.9 points per game on a 56.0% shooting clip from the field.
However, that Simmons is nowhere to be found right now. In fact, it took Simmons 10 games before he finally reached a double-digit mark in scoring. You could even say those 11 points against the Sacramento Kings were meaningless, as Sacramento gave Brooklyn a 153-121 beating.
Perhaps Wilbon is correct. The Nets organization and its fans should not pin their hopes on the three-time All-Star returning to his former glory. It should be noted that he is coming back from major injuries. But the same can be said about Kevin Durant, who has successfully bounced back following an Achilles tear nearly three years ago.
Nets players are sick of him
Interestingly enough, Simmons' teammates are also reportedly growing frustrated with him, citing his lack of availability, level of play, and passion.
It feels like a deja vu for the former Rookie of the Year after he frustrated several of his teammates when he was still with the Philadelphia 76ers. Fans know how that ended up for Simmons.