Ben Simmons is about to go through it.
The 6-foot-10 Simmons has already gotten his fair share of heat from basketball heads on Twitter for his horrendous performance in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Hawks.
For both Simmons and Philly fans, it has to be embarrassing seeing the whole world get their jokes off on the 2016 number one overall pick — a guy who was supposed to be a significant piece of the Sixers’ championship rebuild.
And last night, the embarrassment only got worse on ESPN.
ESPY host Anthony Mackie used some of his time on stage to completely obliterate Simmons in front of a national audience on ABC. Mackie literally said this man was building orphanages with how many bricks he shot during this year’s playoff run.
And what made it even worse is that they brought children on the stage to really make sure the joke hit home. That’s just disrespectful.
Simmons and the Sixers will have a long offseason ahead of them. They’ll need to find Simmons another destination to play in, because his time in Philly is effectively done. The city, the head coach Doc Rivers, and the team’s best player, Joel Embiid, have their reservations about this partnership with Simmons.
Even though Rivers says he has a plan to help Simmons, I don’t know how this can be salvaged in Philadelphia right now. The spotlight will be so bright on Simmons, and if he was worried about pressure before, another year in Philly is going to bring astronomical pressure on the 24-year-old Australian product.
I’m praying that Simmons can actually fix his offensive woes and become the player he has the potential to be, but it’s going to take a lot of work under some of the worst circumstances a player could have early in his career.