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#pounditTuesday, September 27, 2022

Ben Simmons responds to latest unflattering report

May 13, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons has been the subject of countless troubling reports over the past year, and the Brooklyn Nets star has ignored most of them. The latest, however, seemed to really tickle him.

Longtime NBA reporter Ric Bucher shared a somewhat surreal story about Simmons during a recent appearance on FS1’s “The Herd.” Bucher said Simmons left a text message group with some of his fellow Nets players after he was asked if he could play against the Boston Celtics when Brooklyn was in a 3-0 hole in the first-round playoff series.

“They asked him, ‘Are you going to play?’ Ben left the chat,” Bucher said. “Like, he didn’t even answer the question, just left the chat. And [Kevin Durant] is like, ‘This is what I signed up for? This is who I’m playing with?’”

Simmons seemingly addressed the rumor with a tweet on Tuesday.

Simmons also retweeted a video of NBA reporter Shams Charania discussing the group text story on “The Pat McAfee Show.” Charania said it never happened.

Even for Simmons, that move would have been surprising. The former No. 1 overall pick was widely expected to make his Nets debut with the team facing elimination against Boston. He told the team he woke up with back soreness the morning of Game 4 and could not play. That led to a lot of questions about Simmons’ level of commitment. If he pulled a stunt like leaving a group chat over his teammates trying to rally him to play, we highly doubt they would still be showing support for him.

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