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Ben Simmons In 2018: "You Should Be Playing Hard Every Time You Step On The Floor"

Ben Simmons

Over the past couple of months, Ben Simmons has been heavily criticized for his collapse during the 2021 playoff second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks and the subsequent unwillingness to be held accountable for his poor performances against the Eastern Conference finalists. 

He reportedly told the Philadelphia 76ers he wanted out of the team, refused to meet with teammates during the offseason, and stirred the pot at the Sixers facility when he returned. Simmons recently said he's not mentally ready to play and needs time to recover his best version. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the league watches how this situation develops. Things aren't looking good for Simmons right now. Instead of getting better, it looks like he's regressed every season. Back in 2018, the then-rookie made some statements that don't align with the things he's doing right now. 

Talking with Bleacher Report, Simmons spoke about the importance of rebounding and hard work, stating that players get paid to do more than just score. Well, that didn't age well.

"You should be playing hard every time you step on the floor," Sixers rookie Ben Simmons said. "Guys get paid to rebound. You don't know if the ball's not coming to you. When someone says that, or that they're not really picking me up full-court, I know I got you."

And so, Simmons added, he's developed a routine for handling those moments.

"They ask me if I'm going, and I usually say 'No' then go for the rebound," he said. "Maybe after that they learn their lesson."

Ever since his rookie season, the Australian's level has gradually decreased. His shooting struggles were visible last season, hurting his team's chances of having a deeper playoff run. To put things in perspective, he shot jumpers during his first season as a pro, but that suddenly disappeared in the following campaigns. 

Fans expect him to use his jumper during regular-season matches and not only in pickup games. The 25-year-old is now trying to find his way back to the starting lineup, but it'll take some time before we see him back in action.