Charles Barkley pulled no punches in lambasting Ben Simmons for his trade request and for threatening to miss Sixers training camp.
There’s no doubt that Ben Simmons is considered among the NBA’s ‘damaged goods’ at this point. Aged only 25, Simmons likely has his best years still to come.
But his playoff disappointments through 3 different second round series have exposed his weaknesses more clearly than ever. It seemed as if he never even looked at the basket at various points in these playoffs.
His 4th quarter stats, his free throw shooting and his lack of aggression show marked regression in his game. It’s clear that he’s still a project, or a known quantity with a lower ceiling than initially thought.
However, the Philadelphia 76ers did themselves no favors with the way they’ve handled the situation. Doc Rivers expressing a lack of confidence in his play following the series was a PR blunder that has likely forced the situation this way.
Charles Barkley lambasts Ben Simmons on the Big Podcast with Shaq
Charles Barkley was a Sixers player for 8 years with several MVP-caliber seasons in Philadelphia. He understands just how the average Sixers fan views the team and its stars, and how they respond to their athletes’ performances.
The Inside crew piled on the 6’9″ point guard for wilting under playoff pressure during the playoffs. And in light of his trade request, the shots are coming from everywhere on the 2-time All-Star. Chuck was on the Big Podcast with Shaq yesterday, where he discussed the trade saga:
At around the 8:20 mark of the podcast, host Nischelle Turner turned to Shaq and Chuck with the question on every NBA fan’s mind: what is Ben Simmons up to? Both the TNT analysts piled on him for bringing things to such a turn.
“When you give a player $200 million to dribble the basketball, and their first response is, ‘I don’t wanna play here anymore!’ It disappoints me as a player. It disappoints me as a fan.”
“They’re not asking him to come over here and play with these kids. They’re not saying ‘Hey come over here and cut my grass’, they’re saying ‘Ben, we need you to learn how to shoot the basketball.’ And his response is ‘I don’t wanna be here anymore.'”
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