As the basketball world has analyzed Ben Simmons' holdout from every conceivable angle over the last few weeks and months, the 25-year-old All-Star has tried to seem above it all on social media.
After taking a month off from posting after the Sixers' acrimonious postseason exit, Simmons returned to regularly updating his Instagram, especially his Stories, often posting shots of his shoes next to a basketball court and various scenes from around his new, lavish Los Angeles house. He's been projecting a "I'm just in the lab, doing me" sensibility online - as we all try to do now and then.
But he's clearly paying attention to all the chatter.
Just look at what he's liking on Instagram:
Ah, so Simmons does indeed care about what the fans are saying and talking about... and he also likely cares about what happens to his bank account once the fines start rolling in.
Frankly, Simmons is just like any other person would be in a situation where millions of people are talking about them on a daily basis: he wants to know what's being said! There's no shame in that, on its own.
(There is, of course, an argument to be made that some of Simmons' other behaviors are a little shame-worthy, but that's a discussion for another day.)
Simmons is reportedly willing to sit out all year, refusing to return to the Sixers despite being under contract for four more seasons. We'll see if he sticks to his word.