Stephen A. Smith rips into Sixers star Ben Simmons for trade demands

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Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons is one of the more talented players in the NBA. He does a lot of things on the basketball court that are required to win games.

However, there is one huge weakness that continues to hold him back, and he has refused to work on it.

Ever since scoring only five points in Game 7 of the second round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the franchise has taken trade calls. The Sixers realize they can no longer wait for him to develop that jump shot to help the franchise win a title, and they must find somebody else.

The situation has grown ugly. Simmons has demanded a trade and declared he will not show up to training camp or play in another game for the franchise. This comes after he shot a putrid 34.2% from the foul line in the playoffs and another season in which he refused to develop his offensive game.

That has not sat well with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who called Simmons out for making such demands:

You’ve got to be kidding me. Ben Simmons is out here making demands? Ben Simmons? The guy who scored five points in Game 7 of an Eastern Conference semifinals passing up an easy dunk? The guy who hasn’t bothered to develop a jump shot in five years since he’s been drafted? Or a free-throw by the way! A free-throw shot! The guy who hasn’t bothered to put in enough work to even scratch his potential on the court? That guy is out here telling the 76ers how things are gonna be? Let me be very, very clear. I’m not surprised it got to this point. I think we all knew Simmons’ days in Philadelphia were numbered last year as the playoffs played out, and I reported a month ago that he was going to do this and refuse to report to training camp and now we’re here. It’s official, Ben Simmons, isn’t going to play for the 76ers again, so says he! He probably gets way, too. Well, good luck to the team he lands with, because at this particular moment in time, we can only say you’ll be getting a good player, but not one willing to do what is required to be great. If Ben Simmons, developed a free-throw shot, not even a jump shot, he’d average 25 a game. He’s that good, he’s that special of a talent, his problem is he’s scared to shoot! And the 76ers and the 76ers fan base is to blame? And you don’t want to come back because you can’t deal with them? That’s a heart check.

At this point, Smith makes an excellent point. Simmons has to step up to the plate and understand that in order to be great, he has to work on this weakness. Everybody has seen the jump shot videos, but he refuses to shoot in games. That is what will hold him back from being a great player. And after such a poor playoff performance, it is a bit weird to see him make such demands.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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