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Brett Brown defends Ben Simmons after sitting out in Summer League

The #1 pick in the 2016 draft, Ben Simmons, was named to the Philadelphia 76ers‘ Summer League roster that has been competing over the last couple of weeks. He displayed the excellent court vision that many expected from him and wowed crowds with some spectacular highlight plays. He has drawn some highly complimentary comparisons to arguably one of the greatest players ever, LeBron James, due to his athleticism, unselfishness, and diverse skill-set.

Simmons’ run in the tournament may have come to an end much sooner than many fans had hoped and expected. Many people are unhappy with Simmons sitting out each of the last two games, which were in the consolation round.

On NBA TV, legendary point guard Isiah Thomas had some straight-forward feedback for the Australian forward:

“You’re 19,” Thomas Said. “Earn your money, get on the floor and play.”

Since hearing the Detroit Pistons icon’s comments, Simmons’ head coach Brett Brown jumped to his player’s defense.

“This is our direction, it has nothing to do with him”, Brown told ESPN.

It seems as though it wasn’t Simmons’ choice to sit out the games, as the coaching staff wanted to make sure he avoided any kind of injury.

The consolation games can be extremely important for individual players that are playing for their careers. Perhaps giving minutes to Simmons in a meaningless contest would sabotage the chances of another player trying to break his way into the franchise’s rotation.

In the first three games of the Summer League, Simmons averaged 11.3 points, seven rebounds, and 5.3 assists. It’s yet to be confirmed if Simmons will play a part in the Sixers’ final summer league contest.

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