The Philadelphia 76ers’ 103-96 Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday sent massive reverberations throughout the franchise.
With the season on the line and his team in desperate need of offensive support, Ben Simmons contributed exactly 5 points on 4 shots for the day.
After shooting a porous 34.2 percent from the line throughout the playoffs, Simmons’ numbers took another tumble against Atlanta – culminating in him shooting 33 percent from the line and being absolutely terrified to touch the ball in any capacity that may result in a foul being called.
When it was all said and done, Simmons posted the worst free throw percentage in NBA playoff history for a player with at least 70 attempts.
After a fact, the Sixers’ trade plans for Simmons immediately leaked out. But the bleeding didn’t stop there. Now the young star is being absolutely trashed in the media for his personality deficiencies.
“I just received a text from somebody very, very close to the situation in Philadelphia about Ben Simmons. … ‘He doesn’t work, he doesn’t listen, and everyone around him is family, and he’s constantly babied.’”
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 22, 2021
“I just received a text from somebody very, very close to the situation in Philadelphia about Ben Simmons. … ‘He doesn’t work, he doesn’t listen, and everyone around him is family, and he’s constantly babied,’” Stephen A. Smith said on First Take Tuesday morning.
Some of the Simmons slander is warranted. He himself has hypothesized on why he is such a terrible shooter, so if he can acknowledge a problem exists, it’s a bit stunning that he won’t attempt to fix it.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
On the other hand, Simmons wasn’t the lone person responsible for Philly’s collapse. He is just a convenient scapegoat.
One way or another, this is shaping up to be an interesting offseason. Will Simmons ultimately get dealt before the start of next year? Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.