Ben Simmons was benched for the final nine minutes of the Nets’ 137-133 loss to the Philly yesterday as it seems Jacques Vaughn is fed up with his guard’s lackluster performances.
He finished the game with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists, scoring all his points in the third quarter, following a scoreless first half.
When asked about the benching after the game, Simmons had an interesting response.
“I really had no message from him,” Simmons said. “I think it’s more just [whatever the] team needs.”
“When we’re winning, I have no problem with it; if we’re losing then I got an issue.”
This is a pretty strong response from a former All-Star that is averaging career lows in points, rebounds and assists.
In a rather pointed message, Vaughn told the media that “if you’re thinking about being aggressive, you will be aggressive. If you think about being a good teammate, you’ll be a good teammate. If you think about competing and playing hard, you do those things. You become what you think about.”
At halftime of the broadcast, ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins didn’t hold back on his assessment of Simmons: “While Tyrese Maxey’s been the X-Factor, Ben’s been no factor,” Perkins said.
“I’mma change his name to Ben Perkins, he had the same stat lines as me. It’s amazing how (he) goes from an all-NBA player to an enforcer now, that’s what he’s been. Three fouls.
“I’m starting to think he’s afraid of the moment.”