Sixers’ Ben Simmons claims he should be DPOY after guarding Kyrie Irving on 37-point night
Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons continues to campaign for himself as the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. But this most recent argument from the Sixers all-star is slightly confounding.
The former No. 1 overall pick told Tyler R. Tynes of GQ his ability to guard multiple positions at a high level makes him the DPOY front-runner, citing his willingness to guard Kyrie Irving during Wednesday’s matchup with the Brooklyn Nets:
“I was supposed to guard [Kevin Durant]. We match up well size wise. KD’s out. The next person I’m guarding is Kyrie [Irving],” Simmons said, via Tynes. “Like, who’s doing that? It’s not many players who are doing that. And to be doing it at a high level like that? I don’t think there’s anybody else really doing that. I mean, Kawhi [Leonard] when he was really playing defense like that, of course. But, it’s not too many guys.”
But when Tynes pressed the Sixers star on the fact Irving had 37 points, he deflected, instead choosing to speak about plus-minus:
“Yeah, but we won,” Simmons said, via Tynes. “His plus/minus was negative, too [it was -13].”
Well, plus-minus speaks to total impact, including on the defensive end of the floor. So that’s sort of irrelevant.
Additionally, Simmons previously said Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was not deserving of the award because the Sixers point forward scored 42 on him. However, dropping big numbers on Simmons is apparently of lesser consequence.
There is no denying Simmons is one of the best on-ball defenders in the league and a big reason for the Sixers’ success. In spite of Irving’s big offensive performance, don’t expect the Sixers star to stay quiet. However, his arguments could probably use some work.