It is safe to say there is really nothing wrong with Ben Simmons physically.
The question begs do you believe there is something wrong with him mentally. A back issue is really easy to fake. It isn’t like an ankle sprain. You can just wake up one day and say your back is hurt, and there is no real way to prove that it doesn’t hurt.
It is an easy excuse for Ben Simmons to use whenever he doesn’t want to play. I think most people would agree if the Nets had won Game 3, Simmons would have been on the floor for Game 4. When the Nets lost that game, and the prospect of Simmons becoming a meme again if they got swept (which eventually is what happened) made him realize he wanted no parts of a Game 4.
Once again, does he genuinely have a mental and physical issue, or does he just not want to play but still get paid like an NBA player.
Here is what he told the Nets via Shams.
With the Nets facing elimination on Monday in Game 4 against the Celtics, Simmons pulled himself from his expected season debut, with sources saying he informed team officials on Sunday that his back felt sore. Everyone around the Nets organization had been given the impression that Simmons had zeroed in on Monday’s Game 4 as his debut date, and the franchise certainly was left searching for answers because of his inability to step on the floor in Brooklyn and what transpired in the first round.
Sunday’s events triggered frustration and disheartenment throughout the organization, multiple sources said. The fallout of Simmons being ruled out Sunday led to a meeting among franchise officials, Simmons and his agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, on Monday in Brooklyn. According to sources, Simmons told those in the room that a mental block exists for him, dating in part to last summer’s postseason, which is creating stress that could serve as a trigger point for his back issues. He added that he does want to play basketball and play for the Nets as he works on solutions in regard to his well-being.
Simmons had been described as pain-free for the majority of the past month but began to cite soreness in his back on Friday.
Simmons had another workout on Saturday, after which Nash said Simmons had no issues. On Sunday, Simmons informed the team his back was sore. For Nets players, the confusion was not centered around Simmons’ ailment, but with the perceived lack of attempt to play, effort to be in uniform and push his body in these high-stakes playoffs, sources said. Nets players and coaches wanted to see Simmons show resolve and enter this series to start his on-court Brooklyn tenure, even if it was for limited minutes on Monday or none at all while still dressing for the game.
Can Simmons bounce back from this?
It is really hard to tell. It is more likely that he can bounce back if he has been faking his mental health issues. If he truly has a mental block, you don’t get over those easily. The expectations will always be sky high for him now, and what happens if the pressure overwhelms him?
It will be fascinating to watch what happens to him next season when he has no excuses not to be on the court.
Flip the pages for everyone calling him out.