If you’re looking for Ben Simmons, you won’t find him on an NBA court, that’s for sure. If you’re lucky enough, you might sneak into a candy store to rummage through the selection. One lucky fan went to see Simmons and decided to give the NBA star a hard time calling him Russell Westbrook multiple times. But this is not a case of mistaken identity. The fool called Simmons Westbrook because, like Russ, Ben couldn’t fire a damn shot.
Watching the 30-second clip, I was impressed with how Simmons handled the situation, using a stern voice to force the man to retreat. Whenever there is an incident of a fan approaching a professional athlete with hostile intent, there is always a reason to pause as things can go downhill quickly. But it’s good to see Ben handle this situation with seemingly no security or anyone else around him.
Westbrook had a similar incident with a fan in Toronto who thought it was funny to talk crazy to the former MVP. Russ gets a little more exaggerated than Ben and exchanges words back and forth, but eventually someone comes in between the two. Without it, Westbrook might have caught a case that night.
This is the attitude the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets need Simmons to bring into the upcoming season. The 76ers would’ve relished having this confident version of Ben in Philadelphia last year. Instead, he didn’t play one game for Philly last season and hasn’t played for Brooklyn since being traded at the deadline in February.
Simmons made the news earlier this week after reaching an agreement on a handle with the Sixers about the lawsuit, he filed it in the hope of recovering some of the nearly $20 million the team had withheld because he refused to play. Both parties have agreed to keep the exact amount confidential, so that number is unknown.
All the reports we’ve heard over the past year have primarily concerned Simmons’ mental health being affected by everything going on in Philly. So I’m sure Ben was relieved to get some of his money back and complete that whole process. Now that the entire Sixers experience is officially behind him, hopefully, we’ll see a new focus from Ben with the Nets.
Nets have their own dramatic still going on, but that has nothing to do with Ben. Brooklyn needs Simmons to come in and do what he does best. If he still can’t shoot, so what, it’s not his game. If he can still distribute, heal, and defend, the Nets will be much better, especially if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are around.
Don’t be surprised if we see a new Simmons invigorated this season with a new focus and intensity.