Washington Wizards announcer Justin Kutcher has caused a firestorm in the NBA after calling out Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
Simmons did not play in Saturday’s win over Washington but could be cleared to rejoin the team on Sunday after coming in contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19.
The Sixers though were able to secure a comfortable victory without Simmons, while also having to contend with losing Joel Embiid to a hyperxtended left knee.
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Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz stepped up off the bench while Tobias Harris had another strong performance with 14 points, three assists and eight rebounds.
Harris’ importance to Philadelphia’s success this year has been slightly underrated and it prompted Kutcher to make a statement that he would later regret if social media reaction was anything to go by.
“I’ve said it before and I know I’ll take flak for it,” he said.
“I think Ben Simmons is one of if not the most overrated player in the NBA. He’s got so much love and attention that people aren’t paying attention to what Tobias Harris is doing on the floor.”
I’m gonna need y’all to listen to this pic.twitter.com/3XLaNBypkp
It immediately fired up former NBA player Kendrick Perkins.
“Did he just say that Ben Simmons is the most overrated player in the league? Shame on him,” Perkins tweeted.
“This gotta be the most disturbing thing I’ve heard all year. He do realize that Simmons is the front runner for DPOY?!”
Did he just say that Ben Simmons is the most overrated player in the league? Shame on him. This gotta be the most disturbing thing I’ve heard all year. He do realize that Simmons is the front runner for DPOY?! #ridiculoushttps://t.co/KGTYCjSP46
Simmons has transformed his offensive game since being caught up in the James Harden trade drama, adopting a more aggressive style that has made him more unpredictable to defend.
He obviously is also an elite defender and Simmons’ understated impact on both ends of the floor was a topic of conversation on The Bill Simmons Podcastearlier this year.
“I do think Ben Simmons has made up for that deficiency with everything else. I mean, he’s doing the little things this year,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor said at the time.
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“Now he is setting little rub screens to open up space for Tyresse Maxey to catch the ball and shoot the 3 or attack a close-out or for Seth Curry to get open. He’s doing those little things that he didn’t do in the past that help out when you’re an ineffective shooter. Ben Simmons deserves a heck of a lot of credit.”
Bill Simmons agreed that too many people don’t understand the Philadelphia star’s true value, adding: “One of the things and it is a skill in its own right, is just kind of being up to stuff.”
“To be a split-second ahead. To anticipate when things are going to happen. You almost have to train yourself when you are playing to be on the prowl.
“I think with Simmons, he’s just figured out I’m probably not going to have an impact offensively but I’m up to stuff. Last year I didn’t feel like he was like that. I don’t feel like he knew where he fit in. This year I feel like he knows. Maybe this is what he is, maybe he’s a guy who is 14-10 and 9 but defensively he’s going to be the best player in the league.”
Originally published as‘Shame on him’: Disturbing Simmons call
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