Scottie Pippen details the issues with Ben Simmons
Even though they’ve been eliminated for almost a week, the talk of the NBA media has still been 76ers guard Ben Simmons. The talking heads on TV have talked about Simmons non-stop, and some former players have tried to give an insight into what they believe is going on. One of those former players is former Chicago Bull and NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. Pippen talked with Tyler Tynes of GQ about Ben’s on-court issues and Doc Rivers’ role in the situation.
The free throws and lack of shooting are the two major critiques of Ben. Scottie dove into why his lack of willingness to shoot separates him from others who struggle like Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He’s still a good basketball player. That’s his weakness: shooting the basketball. If you take that away from Ben Simmons, he got no weakness. That’s Giannis’ weakness, too. But, Giannis don’t mind being humiliated. That’s the difference between him and Ben Simmons. Giannis will go to the free-throw line and shoot two fucking airballs and come right down the court the next time and try and dunk on you. If Ben Simmons miss a free throw, he gonna start passing it before he get to the free-throw line on the other end. He didn’t even wanna cross half-court with the basketball because he was so afraid of being humiliated going to that foul line. That’s why he didn’t try to make that dunk at the end of the game. He’s been doing it all year, bro.
It doesn’t take much knowledge of the league to know what Scottie Pippen is saying is 100% correct. Giannis fights through despite being made fun of for his long free throws and will always take an open shot if needed.
Ben is not the only one to blame, though, in Pippen’s eyes. 76ers head coach Doc Rivers was left in a challenging situation about whether or not to bench Ben Simmons in certain situations because of Atlanta potentially forcing him to the line. Here is what Scottie Pippen had to say about the situation.
“I watched a lot of games that Doc [Rivers] shouldn’t have had him in, in the fourth quarter. If I give you a deck of cards and I give you a deuce of heart and a deuce of diamond, and we playing Spades, why you keep grabbing those cards when you know you’re gonna lose in that category? This kid been this way the whole time and Doc brought him in and set him up for failure. He been like this! And you guys know he been like this. And Doc kept putting him in the game, he kept letting that team do fouls on him. Take him out the game! The Lakers did it with Shaq, and he’s bigger and more dominant and probably more fearless than Ben Simmons. Doc made him be a failure.”
Hopefully, all of this talk about Ben will go away while the playoffs continue, and Simmons will realize how he has to change as a player. Scottie Pippen was in hot water on Twitter for his comments in the article regarding Kevin Durant and LeBron James.