There have been literally dozens of pundits around the basketball world offering their two cents — and often more — on Ben Simmons and his contributions (or lack thereof) in the Sixers’ Eastern Conference semifinals series loss to the Hawks.
Simmons, by all accounts, underperformed in the series offensively, particularly in the fourth quarter, when he took a total of three shots in the entire series.
He also shot 15 for 45 (33.3 percent) from the free throw line over the course of the seven games.
Tuesday afternoon, Stephen A. Smith dropped a haymaker on the matter:
"I just received a text from somebody very very close to the situation in Philadelphia about Ben Simmons.
"This is a quote. This is not me, this is them.
"‘He doesn’t work, he doesn’t listen and everyone around him his family. He is constantly babied.’"
Wow. Even for the most ardent Simmons supporters, this is an allegation that is difficult to defend.
For whatever you think of Doc Rivers, he has been a staunch Simmons defender throughout the regular season and the postseason. But the stats are there and they can not be disputed.
Simmons’ defensive acumen can’t be argued with. He’s among the best in the game. But the fact that he comes up so small, with so much on the line, is something that can’t be overlooked.
Stephen A. is as connected as one can be to the NBA game, so you can dismiss his sources at your own peril.
Whether or not anything changes in this regard remains to be seen.
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