Allen Iverson is one of the greatest NBA stars of all time. What he was able to accomplish given his small stature and consistently unimpressive teammates will forever go down in league lore as a ginormous feat.
Because of how regularly and reliably Iverson overcame the odds during his career, he is uniquely qualified to comment on people who underwhelm in that category.
Case in point: Ben Simmons.
Simmons, on paper, has all the attributes and skills necessary to be a top-tier star in the NBA. Unfortunately, due to his mental weaknesses and perpetual issues, he has turned into something of a problem child.
During a recent interview, Iverson got brutally honest about Simmons’ woes.
“I’m a Sixer to the death, so obviously I’m disappointed,” Iverson said of Simmons’ issues, per Ed Barkowitz of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “But I don’t know what goes on in someone else’s head, and you always try to give somebody the benefit of the doubt. I would like to think that I had a good relationship with him. And I’m pretty sure that he knew that I was supporting him.”
Iverson also made it a point to note that he was still rooting for Simmons.
“I’m still rooting for him, you know,” he continued.
“Obviously he’s not with [the 76ers] anymore… But I’m thinking about him as a person. You know what I mean? I hope he comes out well from this whole thing, especially if we’re talking about mental health [concerns]. …
“We don’t know what’s going on in his mind. And we don’t know about the people that’s surrounding him and feeding him the information that he needs to get past this whole thing that we definitely wish — if you care anything about him — that it passes. You know what I mean?”
Many were hoping that Simmons would make an appearance in the first round of the Brooklyn Nets’ playoff series against the Boston Celtics. He didn’t, though. And partially due to his absence, his squad became the only one to be swept out of the postseason this year. Afterward, Kyrie Irving had some interesting thoughts on Simmons’ choice to sit out.
Taking into account the disappointment with which head coach Steve Nash has spoken about Simmons’ injury, it’s clear that everyone wanted him back for the Celtics series.
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 28, 2022
It will be interesting to see what happens to Simmons from here on out. Obviously if he returns in 2022-23, has a great year and helps the Nets contend for a title – all past transgressions will be forgotten.
Should that not occur, though – Simmons may start making a name for himself as one of the most disappointing players of his generation.