Things got heated on Inside the NBA when it came time to pass verdict on Ben Simmons. After the game, Doc Rivers was asked if Simmons was a championship point guard, and his answer didn't sit right with Kenny "The Jet" Smith.
Smith thought Doc could've expressed more support for Simmons - if he played him heavy minutes, Rivers must've thought he could win with Simmons playing the point. As that was the case, The Jet thinks this was a bad non-answer from Doc. I agree. Brian Windhorst reported Doc is getting "around 8 million per season" in Philly. For that amount of money, he should know. Numbers don't lie.
But Kenny also said the 76ers didn't know Simmons was this bad when they drafted him. That's where I have to agree with Shaq and Chuck losing their mind on him. We knew Simmons needs to improve his shooting. For a while there, Kevin O'Connor from The Ringer made it his life's mission to convince everyone that Simmons is shooting with the wrong hand. To say his bad shooting is a recent development is complete bulls**t.
“How many years we've been talking about this?? Don't act like we've been talking about this for the last three months! I live in Philadelphia, we've been talking for the last three years about this dude not shooting the ball. He mentally has some issues right now, but let's not act like [this is a new thing.].”
Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA
Chuck was rough, but Shaq went off the top rope. This is where having former players, Hall of Famers with rings is priceless. This is how MVP-level guys think about someone like Ben Simmons.
“If I played game one and two and I know I’m not helping my teammates what do you think I’m going to do in Game 3? It don’t take seven games to realize that, I don’t wanna hear that man. It don’t take seven games for you to know that you’re not playing right, get right. He didn’t get double-teamed, just be aggressive, that’s all I want. I don’t want to hear all that, stop that. If he was in my locker room I would have knocked his ass out. I don’t want to hear that, get out of my face with that.”
Shaquille O'Neal, Inside the NBA
Simmons owned up to his flaws, but I think his time in Philly/with Embiid has run out. After the game, Embiid was asked when he felt the Sixers lost the game and the series. Despite the fact that there were many important moments after this one, he talked about Simmons passing up an open dunk. As Shaq and Chuck said - this isn't new. Simmons has failed to improve his glaring flaw for years. If Joel Embiid called Daryl Morey and said "me or him," I would understand him completely. And we all know who’s it going to be.
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