Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons posted on his Instagram story on Sunday a picture of his setup as he was watching Game 7 of the second-round series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. Simmons was criticized mercilessly on Twitter for his post and one of his biggest critics is no other than ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Smith, along with most people who are fans of the 76ers, admonish Simmons for holding out during the 2021-22 season in order to force Philadelphia to trade him. After months of Simmons sitting out due to what was reported as mental health issues that were brought on by the 76ers’ fanbase and the organization itself, Philadelphia was able to trade Simmons to Brooklyn in exchange for James Harden in February of 2022.
Smith, similar to how most have discussed the end of Simmons’ tenure in Philadelphia, describes the former LSU Tiger as “quitting” his way out of town. As of now, Simmons is rehabbing after he was ruled out in March for the rest of the 2022-23 season due to a nerve impingement in his back. He is trying to get healthy soon enough to participate in the 2023 FIBA World Cup as a member of the Australian National Team. Here’s what Smith had to say about Simmons’ IG story:
“I tried to give Ben Simmons a chance. But, he quit on the Sixers as we all know. I personally like him, but I’m ashamed at what he’s been like over the last couple of years. Listen, as much as I got on James Harden and Joel Embiid, at least they put on a damn uniform and actually showed up at an arena and stepped on a basketball court. The nerve. the unmitigated gall of this modern day Zoolander known as Ben Simmons.”
Ben Simmons posted this on his IG story 🤷♂️😬 pic.twitter.com/N848q90S7U
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 14, 2023