Ben Simmons has been under heavy scrutiny the past year for his lack of shooting at the point guard position and his availability when it matters most.
The former All-Star went viral on social media for a fadeaway airball he took at the Nets’ “Practice in the Park” in Brooklyn. Simmons had some displeased words for the audience of that video and took a jab at an NBA superstar that has also struggled to shoot in the previous years.
“They’re going to say that regardless,” said Simmons on fans’ criticism of his shooting. “Even if I hit a shot, what are they going to say? ‘I still can’t —That’s like saying can, Giannis [Antetokounmpo] shoot? Can he?”
Simmons didn’t play for the 76ers with mental health issues, and a back injury prevented him from playing with Brooklyn last season. He ultimately received back surgery to fix the “lower spine irritation” he was experiencing. Simmons missed Brooklyn’s first-round loss to the Celtics due to that back injury and reportedly received some backlash from his teammates about his unavailability.
In the wake of all the criticism he’s had to deal with, Simmons fired back that all the backlash “comes with being Ben Simmons right now.”
“It finds me all the time,” Simmons said. “And it doesn’t f—ing stop. Sometimes I’m even sick of it, but then I’m like, ‘OK, I’m Ben Simmons, you know? It comes with being Ben Simmons right now.’
In a recent preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Simmons held Giannis Antetokounmpo to 6-21 shooting from the field, showing his defensive abilities are still at the top of the rest of the League. In addition, Coach Steve Nash has made it clear that no matter the position Simmons plays, he’ll settle for whatever jump shot he takes.
Through all the controversy surrounding his name, Simmons is more than confident to be a better version of himself from previous years and is siked to take on one of his biggest challenges this season, play at Wells Fargo Arena against his former Sixers squad.
“F— I can’t wait to go there,” said Simmons.
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