The 76ers, it appears, are all set to take Ben Simmons with the #1 overall pick in tonight's NBA Draft.
You’re making a big mistake, Sixers.
That’s because no player ever in sports has had more character questions about them at draft time than Ben Simmons. You can talk about Allen Iverson, or Jameis Winston, or Johnny Manziel. But did any of those guys refuse to play in the NIT? Exactly.
So now, I give you 20 reasons why it’s a mistake for the Sixers to take Ben Simmons:
1. Angelo Cataldi doesn’t want him. And when it comes to warning Philadelphia ahead of time about bad high draft choices, the man’s record is unimpeachable.
2. Charles Barkley, whose instincts about Philly sports are the best of anyone’s, wants Brandon Ingram.
3. I’ve got a feeling Bernard Hopkins hates Simmons too.
4. Simmons can’t shoot. In his one college season, he averaged a paltry 19.2 points per game and scored just 632 points. That’s pathetic. I don’t care about his athleticism or how good a passer or defensive player he is. Basketball is about shooting.
5. His team didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, and he didn’t play in the NIT. And even worse, he decided not to play in the Olympics. I mean, come on.
6. How do we know Simmons won’t break his foot, develop a sudden interest in sidewalk fisticuffs, or decide to play in Turkey instead of for the Sixers? You can never be sure with these draft picks.
7. Simmons is supposed to be 6’10”, but when he was photographed this week next to the 7’2” Joel Embiid, they were clearly level. I don’t want any part of a guy who lies about his height.
8. Open any YouTube clip of Simmons and watch the guy’s body language.
9. Simmons didn’t work out for the Sixers, until this week. If that’s not good enough for Kevin Hart, it’s not good enough for me.
10. You know who else said they weren’t coming to workouts but then did? Sam Bradford.
11. After Simmons did work out, he wrote “Trust he Process” on his Instagram. Are you kidding me? Now he’s QUOTING SAM HINKIE? I thought we were past this, and ready to win now.
12. The Sixers supposedly notified Simmons’ camp on Tuesday that they’re picking him. I don’t trust a guy that young who has a “camp.”
13. We’re supposed to be reassured that coach Brett Brown knows Simmons’ family and has for years. Sounds like nepotism, if you ask me -- just what I expect from Colangelo and his dad.
14. Simmons hasn’t even been drafted yet, and he’s already in TV commercials. A little presumptuous of him, don’t you think? How do we know Simmons won’t spend more time worrying about his Foot Locker ads than he does about basketball? Don’t you remember McNabb and Chunky Soup?
15. Speaking of those commercials -- D’Angelo Russell’s total violation in telling on Nick Young is way too serious a topic to joke about. Not funny.
16. Taking a guy with this many red flags just proves my long-held theory that these Sixers owners have no interest in ever winning and have a secret plan to lose forever in order to flip the team for more money and move them to New Jersey.
17. Australia is really, really far from Philly. I mean, I had enough trouble warming to the guy who grew up in Lower Merion.
18. I’d rather the Sixers picked Buddy Hield, who’d have a great chance at becoming the second-greatest Buddy in Philly sports history.
19. That sweater Simmons wore on Jimmy Fallon the other night? Come on.
20. Ben Simmons has had 19 years to mature. If he hasn’t yet by age 19, I’m afraid he never will.
So in conclusion? Do the right thing, Sixers. Don’t you wish you could go back in time to 1999 and draft Ricky Williams instead? Now’s our chance to do the right thing.
Other Philly sports takes:
And speaking of character concerns, I’m seriously nervous about Carson Wentz. I don’t know that I can trust the future of the Eagles to a man who not only would use a gas station bathroom in South Jersey, but got locked in it- and TWEETED ABOUT IT. Completely unacceptable. You may have your doubts about, say, Jameis Winston, but would he do that? Of course not. Maybe the Eagles should stick with Sam Bradford after all.
As for the Phillies, they have lost nine straight and 22 of their last 26, and the reason why is clear: Ryan Howard. The crisis continues…
Much as I was afraid he’d pull a JD Drew, #1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak indeed signed with the Phillies this week. Say, why don’t the Phillies call him up right now? And J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams and Mark Appel and all of the other prospects we’ve been hearing so much about? I don’t know why we have to wait for them, and don’t you dare bring up “service time.”
LeBron James is still a fraud. We’re supposed to think he’s special, just because he won a title in seven games over Andre Igouadala and Marrisse Speights? And besides, I’m sick of hearing about Cleveland. No one has suffered like Philly has, and it’s not particularly close.
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