Simmons on the sideline

Story by Ian Sullivan

The Brooklyn Nets, the preseason favorites to win the 2022 NBA Finals, have been eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Not only did they lose, they were swept by the Boston Celtics, 4-0. Watching these losses from the bench was 2016 #1 overall draft pick, 2017-2018 Rookie of the Year, three time NBA All Star, Ben Simmons.

Simmons spent the first five years of his career with the Philadelphia 76ers, before refusing to play after the 76ers collapsed in the 2021 playoffs. He skipped the entire offseason, preseason, and season opener because he was upset that the 76ers were seeking to trade him. Eventually, he began to claim that he was not mentally ready to play, and that the 76ers were damaging his mental health.

After months of attempting to trade him, the 76ers successfully traded him, along with draft picks and players, to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for superstar James Harden. 

Once Simmons was traded, he seemed ready to make his 2021-2022 season debut. However, he didn’t play a single minute for the Nets from Feb 10 to April 25, when they were eliminated.

Simmons has officially been sidelined with back soreness, but I’m not buying it. His antics over the 2021 offseason lead me to doubt the validity of his inactive status. 

In my opinion, Ben Simmons simply lacks any competitive spirit. He is sabotaging his own career by not playing and he has lost over $19 million from fines by the 76ers. On top of damaging his own career, he is letting down his team. While they fought the Celtics in the first round, Simmons sat and watched as they got swept 4-0. While I am a believer of Ben Simmons’s abilities on the court, if he never plays again, I question his mental maturity