Ben Simmons Labelled “Weakest, Most Pathetic Athlete” In Sport History

Ben-Simmons-criticisms

It’s spectacular how drastically Ben Simmons has fallen out of public favour in the last year. Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any worse, we get another bizarre development to this seemingly never-ending saga. While achieving greatness is not out of the question yet for 25-year-old Ben Simmons, his latest batch of criticisms shows he still has a long way to go.

In the wake of the Brooklyn Nets losing 4-0 in their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, everyone from his teammates to sports analysts to NBA legends has been expressing their frustrations with the 2016 number one draft pick. Initially, it was reported that Simmons was planning a return for Game 4 of the series, but as soon as the Nets were facing elimination, he was nowhere to be found.

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Simmons reportedly attributed this to his back pain flaring back up, but many people aren’t buying that as an excuse from a man that chose to sit out this entire season. Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up, NBA insider Brian Windhorst claimed that the Nets were perhaps more frustrated by this than they have led you to believe at any of their press conferences.

“Your immediate reaction is he just doesn’t want to play in a series that’s 3-0. I’ll be honest with you — that was my first reaction,” said Windhorst.

“When I talked to people involved, they were exasperated. They said he woke up, his back hurt, and he wasn’t able to play. There wasn’t much more to say. They’re pretty much waving the white flag on this one. It’s extraordinarily disappointing.”

The ever outspoken Stephen A. Smith had a more colourful way of describing the situation, going as far as to claim that Simmons “might also be the weakest, most pathetic excuse for a professional athlete we’ve ever seen in not just American history but the history of sport.”

Similarly, Reggie Miller took to Twitter to express his criticisms of Ben Simmons.

These criticisms can be attributed to the fact that the Nets were clinging to hope that Ben Simmons would be able to turn the tides for them in the series. While the Celtics did end up sweeping the series, the games themselves were actually pretty close. Among a laundry list of problems being attributed to head coach Steve Nash, the Nets lacked paint presence, ball movement, and defence… Essentially, all of the things Simmons can actually contribute.



It might be unreasonable to have expected Simmons to really do anything at that point. Having not played in a year, surrounded by a completely new team, then expecting him to help pull off a comeback from 3-0 – a feat that has never been achieved in the history of the NBA – might be a bit much to ask.

Ben Simmons has shown he doesn’t respond well to media scrutiny and with one game left, he would be facing pressure to perform well and prove that all of his critics were wrong. If not, he is a scapegoat for a series the Nets were almost definitely going to lose anyway.

But that was not really the point. He told them he was coming back and didn’t follow through. While Ben Simmons understandably would not want to become the first player in history to be eliminated from the playoffs twice in consecutive games, it gets to the point where his unreliability starts to really affect the team.

“In the hood, we call this a punk move,” says Shaq on TNT’s Inside the NBA.

“You know… when things are going good. ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to play in Game 4.’ Now that [the Nets] lost, ‘My back hurts.’ Well, if your back hurts, get some Icy Hot. I’ll send it to you,” said O’Neal, who counts the pain-treatment product among his many endorsements.

“We call this a punk move. Listen, if you’re not ready to play, you’d get more respect from the people if you just say, ‘I’m not ready to play’ and don’t say nothing else. Don’t be shooting and saying, ‘I’m coming back.’… If you’re not going to play, don’t say you’re going to play. I think you should play.