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#pounditMonday, April 12, 2021

Daryl Morey hits back at Ben Simmons critics

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons is putting together perhaps the best all-around season of his career, and Philadelphia 76ers GM Daryl Morey thinks it is about time for the criticism to stop.

Morey hit back at Simmons’ critics this week, especially those who focus too heavily on the 24-year-old’s lack of shooting ability.

“The reality is if Ben was on a different team, where everyone on the floor was a shooter in space, that would be optimal for Ben. But it wouldn’t be optimal for … his chances to win a title,” said Morey, per NBC Sports Philly. “But that’s why people see these glimpses from Ben, it’s when everything around him is optimized.

“He’s an extremely talented player on both ends,” Morey added. “That’s just a treasure to have. The focus on the things he can’t do is pretty maddening, personally, to me. When I had Yao Ming in Houston, there wasn’t like a million people saying, ‘He should be able to do this and this.’ They just sort of appreciated Yao Ming for what he was.”

Simmons just dropped a career-high 42 points against the NBA-best Utah Jazz this week, so he definitely still knows how to get buckets. He is also averaging 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game this season while solidifying himself as one of the top defenders in the league.

Granted, Simmons’ recent boast about himself did end up backfiring a bit. But Morey is a very analytics-driven mind who always emphasizes the importance of the three-point shot. Thus, his ringing endorsement of Simmons here regardless certainly carries some extra weight.

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