Ben Simmons has been the NBA media’s punching bag throughout the short offseason, but the under-fired Aussie has found an ally.
The Philadelphia 76ers super-fan and Hollywood star Kevin Hart, on the whole, hit the criticism leveled at the Australian during his trade stop with the Sixers.
Hart admitted that he has spoken to Simmons in the middle of the row with Philly, and said that the criticism of the star has reached an illogical level.
“I want to say this on the record: Ben Simmons is an amazing star,” Hart said on the All The Smoke podcast.
“Philadelphia, man, we’re another city.
“Look, you have to let players play the way they play. He got there by playing the way he plays. Admittedly, this is a three [point] recording time in the NBA. [But] it’s not Ben. He’s not that guy. He’s not that guy. Because of the media and how they place things, well, somehow we forgot all the good he did.
READ MORE: Australia sets new record in World Cup qualifiers with victory over Oman
READ MORE: The Stormboard ‘seriously considered raising’ Cameron Munster
“Wasn’t he an All-Star? Wasn’t he an All-Defensive Team? What are we talking about here?”
After a nightmare after the season, Simmons’ value has dropped as the Sixers could not find a suitable trading partner. Hart said everyone has forgotten how talented the Australian is.
“But I’m telling you, as a point guard, that the man stands at 6’10. As a 6’10 point guard, if you tell me it’s not a valuable asset, then I do not know basketball.
“I know him, I think he’s young, he’s a great guy, he has a great future and a great career ahead of him. And for him, this is nothing but a time to persevere and show progression every year.
“But I do not like it in this time today, we forget, we forget so fast. We forget so fast.
“… Do you know what an All-Defensive Team is? Do you know what it means? Do we know what an All-Star is or what it takes to become an All-Star [means]? Do we understand it, or do we just throw it out the window? I do not think you do it with him.
“Wherever he goes, where he ends up, Ben Simmons is a star,” he said.
“Who gets that guy, the potential and that man’s animal, you’ll see the pain for.”
The richest athletes in sports in 2021
For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, sign up for our newsletter per. click here!