Stephen A. Smith doesn’t believe Ben Simmons, sheds light on “holes” in yesterday’s press conference
Yesterday was a wild day in the world of the NBA. Ben Simmons spoke for the first time since Game 7 of last year’s Sixers-Hawks series and James Harden was introduced as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. Pretty much everyone at ESPN took to social media yesterday to defend Ben Simmons, but not Stephen A. Smith.
On ESPN’s First Take yesterday, Smith called out Simmons for his comments, believing he had a lot of holes in his statement. I honestly couldn’t agree more.
Stephen A. Smith on Ben Simmons
The first instance pointed out by Stephen A. was the confusion surrounding the trade demand. If he was dealing with mental health problems, why didn’t he just ask for time off instead of immediately asking to jump ship?
And no, I’m not suggesting that Simmons needed to explain everything he was going through. However, some clarification rather than remaining silent for six months would have helped tremendously.
The other remark was that Simmons claimed mental health had nothing to do with what went down. Despite that, Simmons tried to claim he was owed his salary since the CBA bars players from being fined due to mental health issues.
Smith made an excellent point that by publicly saying that he shot down any chance of reclaiming that $19 million in arbitration.
Everything about the entire saga over the last 48 hours has been confusing and even if Ben was struggling with mental health problems, he still managed it publicly in the worst way possible.
Still, there’s a lot to be desired when it comes to a Ben Simmons explanation.
2 Questions that should have been asked at the press conference:
If you holding out was not about fans, players, or coaches and simply mental health, what changed so abruptly at the trade deadline with you mentally that you are now available to play and participate in Brooklyn Nets practices and join the team on the bench?
Why haven’t you spoken with Joel Embiid if it was clearly a mental issue? What made you speak to other teammates but not Embiid?
Of course, we won’t get answers to either, unless Joel Embiid wants to comment on it, but I highly doubt he’ll say much moving forward. Lets just hope Ben Simmons is ready to play in South Philly on March 10th and Embiid can let what happens on the court dictate his response moving forward.
Mandatory Credit: ESPN