Since the conclusion of the 2021 season, Ben Simmons has been the subject of countless trade rumors.
With Simmons all but done with Philadelphia, his days with the franchise are numbered and it's only a matter of time before he ends up on a different team.
But even after Simmons does get that fresh start, he's got a lot of work to do if he is to win back the trust and hearts of the fans.
After multiple seasons in the league, he has yet to establish a perimeter game, which has held back his game (and the potential of his team) for years. With no sign that things will improve on that front, Stephen A. Smith called him out for failing to grow and develop his game.
“It’s his job to grow up and accept some responsibility,” Smith said. “And it’s damn sure his job as a professional athlete to maximize his potential to be the best he can be. I have said this for years, Ben Simmons is a jump shot away from being LeBron James 2.0.”
It might sound harsh for Stephen A. to call out Simmons in front of the world like that, but he's not the only one who feels that way.
Shaquille O'Neal agreed that Simmons has neglected his responsibility to work and improve his game.
"I have a lot of thoughts. But I know we are blessed to do what we do. Whether you like it or not, you have responsibility... When you and me had our first debate, our first arguments, you told me that you said ‘Shaq, you’re pretty good but in order to be great you got to work on your gamed get to the next level’. And what did I do after that, I said okay, you’re you’ve been criticizing me, you’ve been doing your job, because I wasn’t doing my job. I didn’t want to fight you and punch you in your face, we had a conversation man-to-man… you’re a good player, I’m not knocking that. But you ain’t great yet and to be great, you gotta work on your game… You got to work on your game man, don’t be sending out Tweets with you and your little actress girlfriend riding in your Ferrari. I don’t want to see that, I want to see you win a championship for Philadelphia.”
As the Sixers work to find Simmons a new home, it will be up to the young star to prove the doubters wrong and show he can add more to his arsenal.
We'll see soon enough if this is the year he finally breaks through...