Ben Simmons speaking on shooting, video games, and the national media
Ben Simmons continued his national media tour on Friday, speaking with Tyler R. Tynes of GQ. Simmons spoke on various popular topics, including his haters in the national media, shooting, and his interest in video games.
Talking about video games, Ben was asked how he felt about those who think gaming controls too much of an athlete’s life and begins to overtake basketball and working out. Simmons felt those remarks were not true whatsoever, stating:
“They also aren’t in my life. They’re not in my world. They don’t know when I’m playing video games. That’s just people guessing at the end of the day. So I’m not gonna take anybody guessing or anything like that over what I know I’m doing with my life. That’s a little weird to be saying about somebody else’s life if you don’t even know them.”
Immediately following that up, Ben and GQ dove into the topic of shooting. So many have criticized Ben for his lack of scoring despite his DPOTY-caliber defense and elite playmaking. Simmons went on to say those criticizing him don’t know as much about basketball as they think.
“The thing with people is that they think they know something soooo well. And this guy thinks he knows basketball sooo well. And that may be because he watches the games, but does he really know the game? Did he grow up playing the game? Has he been in different situations, has he run the point guard position, has he played at this level? Like, everybody wants to feel like they know the game. And that’s just not the case.”
And followed that up with how it affects him:
And for me? I can’t worry about that. Because, right now, we’re first [in the Eastern Conference]. If I was doing something completely wrong, I don’t think we’d be in this position. Right now, we’re sitting first. And hopefully gonna end first this season. As long as I keep my mind straight and focus on the things I need to do for my team, and teammates, then we’re fine.”
These comments seem right in line with Doc Rivers’ when he said Ben doesn’t need to shoot to be a good player. While everyone would agree if he did, Ben would be better. The path diverges when you ask, is he is good without that shot already?
Another interesting point was when they touched on Ben’s relationship with the national media. These are many of the same people who have criticized Ben about his shooting above on ESPN and Twitter. Simmons answered how an athlete should, saying he doesn’t listen to it.
“When I first came into the league, I read a lot more of it. But I’m at the stage now where I try to ignore everybody. I don’t go on Twitter. I don’t read too much into what people are saying about me. I don’t watch ESPN. I don’t watch SportsCenter, none of that. They’ll tell you if someone puts ESPN in my house it’s going straight off. There’s no SportsCenter unless it’s a game going on or something like that. There’s no Stephen A., there’s none of that.”
Despite the lack of media noise, Simmons did explain he has people in his circle who help him work out what’s wrong with his game. That list includes Doc Rivers, Sam Cassell, Joel Embiid, and Dwight Howard. Simmons continued to expand on those last two names:
“He’s great. He expects me to come out and do my thing every night and he knows I’m capable of that. He’s been somebody who’s been pushing me every game and letting me know how special I can be on the floor and what I mean to this team and that’s been great. Then Joel, of course. He’s telling me to be aggressive every game. I know that gets the team going when I’m out there being aggressive that gets everybody going.”
To finish it off, here’s Ben on his thoughts on the remainder of the season and playoffs,
“If we get that No. 1 seed, we keep our hopes up in terms of the energy. Knowing we’d have home-court advantage would be big for us, especially if we get the fans all back. Our record at home has been pretty good, it’s always been good the last few years being able to be home. I think this is the year for us to do it, honestly.”
“To do what? Y’all gonna win the championship?”
“Win the championship. I genuinely believe that. I feel like there have been years where guys would’ve said it on the Sixers, but I don’t think we really believed it. But, I genuinely think this is the year.”
The good news is Ben has that perfect mindset like the rest of the roster going into the home stretch of the NBA season. Philly has 16 games remaining on their schedule and a challenging week coming up. On Wednesday, they face the Phoenix Suns, followed by a two games series in Milwaukee against the Bucks.
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