Ben Simmons‘ season-long NBA drama is officially over. The Brooklyn Nets, who are in all sorts of trouble against the Boston Celtics, submitted the team’s injury report with the point forward listed as out.
The Australian superstar has hogged the limelight since the Philadelphia 76ers’ unceremonious exit against the Atlanta Hawks last year. He then refused to play for Philly again until he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden.
After Brooklyn’s official injury report came out, Stephen A. Smith ripped into Simmons in a 46-second tirade:
“I feel bad for anybody who was his teammate. He quit on LSU, he quit on the Philadelphia 76ers, and now he ain’t showin’ up for the Brooklyn Nets. We can point to all the excuses, all the rationale behind that we want to. I do recall, despite him not playing, he still filed a grievance to collect $20 million that he has not earned.”
“This is one of the most pathetic situations that I’ve ever seen in my life. He ain’t going to war, he ain’t going to the Octagon, he’s not going in a boxing ring. It’s pulling teeth to get this man to play basketball. It’s pathetic, it’s sad.”
There was plenty of optimism that Simmons would eventually suit up for his new team once the swap was completed. The expectation that the versatile point guard would play went high as the Nets struggled to land one of the play-in spots.
With the Brooklyn Nets already on the brink of getting swept, the NBA might just not see Ben Simmons play again until next year.
Any hopes of the former 76ers star making his debut rest solely on the Nets winning Game 4. The Nets could push for Simmons to play if they can keep their season alive with a much-needed win.
Legendary Indiana Pacers shooting guard Reggie Miller also called out the Brooklyn Nets’ point guard, pointing out that Simmons had “zero competitive fire.”
Stephen A. Smith and his Ben Simmons rule
The current NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement runs through the 2023-24 season. Stephen A. Smith contends that the owners could push for significant changes regarding cases similar to Ben Simmons’ issue.
Here’s what the outspoken veteran sports analyst had to say about the incoming CBA and potential changes:
“When the NBA gets to the Collective Bargaining table, and they go after the players in terms of the pay for play stipulation in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it’s going to be called the Ben Simmons rule.”
Simmons’ case, unfortunately, isn’t the only one and likely won’t be the last until, as Smith contends, the CBA is modified.