Ben Simmons has had a rough start to his return season with the Brooklyn Nets. Simmons has played in three games and fouled out of two of them. The latter was last night in a 134-124 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Simmons was frustrated with the officiating all night, but none vexed him more than his sixth and final foul, a touch foul when Simmons aggressively defended Ja Morant near halfcourt while Morant tried to waste time with 3:52 left in the game.
Simmons and Coach Steve Nash were flabbergasted by the call.
“I just saw the play,” Simmons said after the game. “It wasn’t a foul. [Orr] called it a foul, made a mistake, it is what it is … it’s really frustrating … it’s not a foul, but it was bullshit. It’s frustrating because it’s late game, fourth quarter, it’s a physical, close game. It’s the NBA. It’s not college. It’s not high school. Some people are going to get hit; some people bleed; it’s basketball.”
Ja Morant just explained how he baited Ben Simmons into a sixth foul by remembering something that happened during his rookie year. pic.twitter.com/lKgerareWm
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) October 25, 2022
Morant believed he had something to do with Simmons’ getting called for the foul and explained how he baited him into being disqualified.
“If y’all want to go dig up a play, I think my rookie year I was in Philly, and the same situation happened like that versus Ben in the first half. I went to look at Coach to get the play, and [Simmons] ran through the ball, got the steal, and went to dunk — I knew it at that moment. Once I seen him and I was rolling the ball, and I was at half [court], I looked at Coach, and I see him try to like ‘oh yeah.’ So I knew I had him. He was going to press up, and I was just going to force the ref to make the call.”
Morant and Simmons were going at it all games, each receiving technicals in the first half. Morant finished with 38 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Simmons finished with seven points, eight dimes, and three boards.
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