Ben Simmons found himself in the headlines once again as he had some very choice words about Rudy Gobert and the NBA’s DPOY race.
While Gobert is far and away the favorite, what Ben Simmons has been able to do defensively this season is certainly impressive. He’s currently sixth in the league in “Defended Field Goal Percentage” and has managed to slow down the likes of Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell. Simmons even has a new line of memes referring to him putting players in the “Benitentiary”.
Ben Simmons’ name has certainly been in the conversation for the award, and he’s clearly aware of it. He’s not happy, however, that he’s not yet the favorite.
Ben Simmons Choice Words
A talker, Simmons most recently made comments about Rudy Gobert‘s claim to the DPOY throne or rather why he’s undeserving. On Tuesday, Simmons told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he feels Gobert is undeserving of the DPOY buzz as he can’t guard every position (which Simmons can).
He went on to take a direct shot at the Utah rim-protector, saying:
“… I had 42 (points)… And apparently, I’m not a scorer, so it is what it is. I have a lot of respect for (Gobert), but at the same time, I think it’s mine this year.”
Now, before getting into this, it’s important to remember that Simmons was asked these questions, and he’s been asked many more that have led to how vocal he’s been. It’s not as though he’s calling press conferences himself so he can inflate his own ego, but he is the one answering the questions the way that he does at the end of the day. Now back to Simmon’s comment.
Simmons has a point… to a degree. He did have a great game against Gobert’s Jazz, and while some are quick to claim that Simmons was poor against the Stifle Tower one-on-one, they’re ignoring how impressive Simmons was on the fast break (where he thrives). There’s plenty of film of Gobert slowly chugging along what looks like a mile behind Simmons, and that goes into the lack of versatility Simmons was speaking of.
What Simmons needs to keep in mind is that while Rudy Gobert has gotten cooked several times this season, so has he. Simmons has done a lot of good defensive work this season, but as tends to be the problem with the Sixers’ star, he lacks consistency. Kyrie Irving just dropped 37 against the Sixers with Simmons as his primary defender. The team has also struggled against Damian Lillard, Jamal Murray, Kawhi Leonard, Bradley Beal, and so on and so forth.
There’s no denying what Ben Simmons has done, but there’s more work to do, and if he’s is going to keep talking like he’s won something, Simmons has to back it up by being an All-NBA Defender night in and night out.