There may not be a lot of shots coming from NBA star Ben Simmons these days, but plenty are coming at him.
One such shot coming from Philadelphia 76ers 3-point specialist Georges Niang, who says that “Ben Simmons kind of handicapped [the Sixers] at the beginning of last year” on 97.5’s John Kincade Show.
"Ben Simmons kind of handicapped us at the beginning of last year."
Georges Niang takes a shot at former Sixers teammate Ben Simmons 👀
— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) February 24, 2023
Simmons’ fallout with the 76ers last season is infamous. Following the 2021 NBA Playoffs, it seemed like off of Philadelphia had turned against the former franchise cornerstone. Sixers superstar Joel Embiid threw him under the bus after the Sixers were eliminated from the playoffs, as did 76ers head coach Doc Rivers.
The play that became history-altering was Simmons opting to pass to a cutting Matisse Thybulle after spinning off of veteran forward Danilo Gallinari rather than taking a dunk himself on a drive. Because Thybulle was fouled on his layup attempt, his passive nature and reluctance to hoist up 3-pointers despite him believing it to be weakest part of his game was put at the forefront of the conversation. Never mind that the play happened with three and a half minutes remaining and Philadelphia still held the lead.
The vast majority of fans and analysts believing that Simmons should have played for Philadelphia amid the falling out until he was traded. Niang, the 50th overall pick in the same draft where Simmons went first overall, clearly does too.
Not that he doesn’t make a legitimate point in that there was too much uncertainty about whether he would come back. Nor is it unclear that it was difficult to replace the many positive traits Simmons does bring to the court.