Ben Simmons has had to bear the brunt of criticism following the 76ers ouster from the playoffs this past week after a putrid Game 7 performance.
Among the latest of the 24-year-old star includes Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.
Pippen, who is promoting his new brand of bourbon, was asked in an interview with GQ about Simmons’ failure to do anything offensively in Game 7, in which he scored five points on 2-of-4 shooting from the floor.
“You guys have been looking at Ben Simmons for five years now? And you can say this to Stephen A. Smith, too: Y’all know he can’t shoot. Y’all know he don’t look to shoot in the fourth quarter. You know he’s afraid to go to the foul line, he don’t want to be humiliated, so what are you asking me?” Pippen said. “I’m not against Ben Simmons. But I think he is who he is.”
Pippen’s criticism of Simmons also extended to Doc Rivers, who Pippen said should not have been playing Simmons in the fourth quarter.
“If I give you a deck of cards and I give you a deuce of heart and a deuce of diamond, and we playing Spades, why you keep grabbing those cards when you know you’re gonna lose in that category?” he said. “This kid been this way the whole time and Doc brought him in and set him up for failure. He been like this!
“And you guys know he been like this. And Doc kept putting him in the game, he kept letting that team do fouls on him. Take him out the game! The Lakers did it with Shaq, and he’s bigger and more dominant and probably more fearless than Ben Simmons. Doc made him be a failure.”
Even when Pippen tried to say he still liked Simmons as a basketball player, he still offered a blunt assessment of the Sixers guard.
“He’s still a good basketball player,” Pippen said. “That’s his weakness: shooting the basketball. If you take that away from Ben Simmons, he got no weakness. That’s Giannis [Antetokounmpo]’s weakness, too. But Giannis don’t mind being humiliated. That’s the difference between him and Ben Simmons.
“…If Ben Simmons miss a free throw, he gonna start passing it before he get to the free throw line on the other end. He didn’t even wanna cross half court with the basketball because he was so afraid of being humiliated going to that foul line. That’s why he didn’t try to make that dunk at the end of the game. He’s been doing it all year, bro.”