Ben Simmons is underappreciated in the City of Philadelphia. His name is constantly referenced in trade talk on the radio and social media. Why? The accomplishments to this point are what you would want in a progression of a player. He never takes a game off and is always hustling. Coaches love him. Opposing players want him on their team. Why doesn’t Philadelphia seem to want him?
Ben Simmons is 24 years old and his team has made the playoffs every season he has been on the floor. He is averaging 16/8/8 for his career and has shown improvement every single season. I mean look at what this guy is doing and people call this man a bum! Trade Him? A Bum? This early in his career?
- 2018 Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie 1st Team
- 2019 All-Star
- 2020 Steals Leader, All-Defensive 1st Team, All-NBA 3rd Team, All-Star
- 2021 All-Star
No doubt Ben Simmons will be on the All-Defensive team again this year. In my opinion, he is the defensive player of the year to this point as well. Please don’t give me Rudy Gobert either. Ben guards all 5 positions on the floor yet Rudy battles whatever center is playing that night. Example: See Rudy Gobert guarding Ben Simmons. Anyone see him locking down Dame Lillard? How did Luka fare?
Coaches Love Ben Simmons
Every time you hear an interview from the opposing coach they are gushing over Ben Simmons. Most recently, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse said “I really like Ben Simmons’ toughness, The guy’s big, and strong, and physical, and he is tough… I thought he was fantastic the other night.” Doc Rivers has to defend him to the media every game. The criticism of Ben in this town even had Doc questioning himself that he felt the need to actually lobby for Ben.
Players Want Ben Simmons
Current and former players appreciate Ben Simmons. Players face this guy night in and night out recognizing that he gives it on every play. Ben Simmons was nowhere to be found in the top 10 of NBA fan voting. Did anyone see where Lebron and KD picked him for the Allstar game?
Ben Deserves More Love in Philly
The fans and media continue to bring the criticism if Ben doesn’t score 20 plus points. Even after a night where the Sixers beat the #1 ranked Utah Jazz you see comments about Bens stat line. Is 17 points, 6 assists, and four rebounds trash? It seems the fans totally neglect his defense and presence on the floor. Donovan Mitchell was 0-6 down the stretch with Ben guarding him. That frustration lead to two technical fouls and an ejection from the game.
“We ask players on championship teams to sacrifice shots, pass the ball, play defense, just do so many things that contribute to winning, and that affects your numbers,” Rivers continued. “Your numbers aren’t going to be as good, but your team wins. Yet, fans, media, every time I hear it, they’re talking about these guys on these sub .500 teams, and it just blows me away.– Doc Rivers
Its time for fans and the media to get over the jumper. Get over the transition from passive player to aggressive player. Get over that he was the #1 pick in the draft. Let him develop and enjoy the growth. Stop jumping down his back every time he scores below 20 points. He is only in his fourth season and learning his game. Show this man some respect and give him some encouragement. The aggressive play continues to build as his comfort level increases in that role. Is this risk worth the reward?
Coaches Know It. Players Know It. Time for the Fans to Know it too.
“I think that means more than fan votes and things like that,” Simmons said, “Just because they see the game, they know the game. They come to the games every night. They see the talent out there, and there’s a lot of talented guys out there, but I’m the type of player who can do a lot of things on the floor. I’m glad a lot of coaches appreciate that and see that.”
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Photo Credit: Andrew Jackson from Fox Sports