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1x NBA Champ Believes Ben Simmons Would Have Faced Barrage of Tomatoes for a Mikal Bridges-Like Apology

Satagni Sikder

1x NBA Champ Believes Ben Simmons Would Have Faced Barrage of Tomatoes for a Mikal Bridges-Like Apology

The Brooklyn Nets recently concluded another underwhelming season with an 86-107 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers, which saw them finish 11th in the Eastern Conference with a 32-50 record. Four games behind the 10th-seeded Atlanta Hawks, the Nets’ play-in hopes were well down the drain before their last home game of the season last Wednesday. However, Nets fans still showed up to inspire the team’s 106-102 victory against the Toronto Raptors. Their forgettable campaign prompted Nets small forward Mikal Bridges to offer an apology to the home crowd, followed by a promise for a better run next year.

The apology seemed to lift the spirits of the dejected fans a little. But Bridges’ bland and passionless apology failed to impress Jeff Teague and his Club 520 Podcast crew. In fact, they had a good laugh imagining how the Nets Crowd would react to a similar apology from Ben Simmons.

Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Simmons’ season was cut short once again due to a nerve impingement in his lower back. The 27-year-old has been public enemy #1 for the past few seasons following his repeated failure in showing up for his teams. He showed some promise last year during the pre-season games. However, Simmons ended the 2023-24 season with 6.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in 15 games.

The Nets guard is on a hefty 5 year/$177,243,360 contract, which he signed during his stint with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets will not only have to pay $37,893,408 to Simmons this year, but they are also on the hook for $40,338,144 next season, according to Spotrac. Brooklyn fans are obviously frustrated with Simmons, who has not been very keen about getting back on the court in the past as well.

Therefore, Teague tried to imagine Simmons making a similar apology as Bridges and how that might have impacted the Barclays Center crowd. “That would have been hilarious…they would have thrown tomatoes at that ni**a, ‘Ni**a, shut your a** up, you ain’t playing no more,'” the 2021 NBA Champion said as his co-hosts could barely stop laughing.

Ben Simmons received a lot of flak after his crunchtime blunder in Game 7 of the second round of the 2021 playoffs became the scapegoat of the 76ers’ shocking loss against the Hawks. Several lingering injuries have kept him sidelined repeatedly since then. In the games he has been available, Simmons has failed to impress anyone, prompting many to question his commitment to the game of basketball. He is pretty much a liability on the Nets team right now with little to no market value, as Teague later pointed out, and a massive guaranteed salary. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to think that the Nets crowd will be frustrated with a casual apology from Simmons in the current context of things.

Mikal Bridges’ apology

Mikal Bridges addressed the Barclays Center crowd after the Nets’ four-point victory against the Raptors. “We appreciate you guys coming out this year. I know it’s been a tough year, but we appreciate you guys hanging on with us. We’ll be back next year,” the 27-year-old said, as can be seen in this clip posted by Nets beat writer, Eric Slater.

Bridges didn’t seem visibly remorseful about the Nets’ terrible form this season, which triggered the Ben Simmons discussion on Jeff Teague’s podcast. However, Bridges did put together a decent season despite his team’s struggles, which is probably why fans were more accepting of his apology. The former Suns star played all 82 games this season, averaging 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.

About the author

Satagni Sikder

Satagni Sikder


Satagni Sikder is the Lead Editor of the NBA Division at The SportsRush. He is an experienced NBA reporter with over 350 published articles to his name. Satagni has also led the NBA team of another popular media company previously. He holds a Master's Degree in English from a reputed University and has always been fascinated by the faculty of language to translate ideas into beautiful and powerful creations. He is a dedicated student of the NBA and presents a fresh perspective of the sport to the readers.

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