Stephen A. Smith, NBA world rip Ben Simmons after being ruled out of Nets-Celtics Game 4: ‘It’s pathetic. It’s sad’

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Joe Rivera1 hour ago•5 min read

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Nothing but Nets disappointment.

The Brooklyn Nets’ season is teetering on the brink of elimination, with Brooklyn heading into Monday night’s Game 4 down 0-3 to the Celtics in Round 1 of the 2022 NBA playoffs.

That potential end will come without Ben Simmons on the court, as the Nets ruled him out of Game 4 on Sunday afternoon; Simmons reportedly re-aggravated a back injury that has prevented him from taking the court with Brooklyn — and the 76ers — this year.

There was hope that Simmons, who was reportedly inching towards being ready to play in Game 3, would be able to play in Game 4. Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are “taking him (Simmons) at his word” regarding his injury. Reading between the lines, it sounds like this was more Simmons’ decision not to play over Brooklyn’s.

MORE: When will Ben Simmons play for Nets? Updated status for NBA Playoff series vs. Celtics 

Simmons was traded from Philadelphia to the Nets alongside Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and a pair of first-round picks for James Harden and Paul Millsap in February, and was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back in March.

Simmons hadn’t played with the 76ers amidst a trade request, and didn’t play with the Nets while nursing the back injury.

While Simmons was preparing to play for the Nets and had gone through over a week’s worth of ramp-up work without any pain, the Nets’ near elimination may have changed plans for Simmons.

To that end, many NBA analysts, commentators and former players were displeased with Simmons’ setback, calling it “sad,” “pathetic” and a “heist.”

First up, Stephen A. Smith’s reaction to the Ben Simmons news:

.@stephenasmith reacts to Ben Simmons being out for Game 4: “I feel bad for anybody who was his teammate. He quit on LSU, he quit on the Philadelphia 76ers and now, he ain’t showing up for the Brooklyn Nets.”

I feel bad for anyone who’s his teammate. He quit on LSU, he quit on the Philadelphia 76ers, and now he ain’t showing up for the Brooklyn Nets. We can point to all the excuses, all the rationale behind it that we want to. I do recall, despite him not playing, he still filed a grievance to collect $20 million that he has not earned. This is one of the most pathetic situations that I’ve ever seen in my life. He ain’t going to war, he’s not going to the Octagon, he’s not going in a boxing ring. It’s pulling teeth to get this man to play basketball. It’s pathetic. It’s sad. And at the end of the day, when the NBA gets in the collective bargaining table, and they go after the players in terms of a pay-for-play stipulation in the collective bargaining agreement, it’s going to be called the Ben Simmons Rule. 

Reggie Miller@ReggieMillerTNTCmon MAN!!! Out for Game 4 when it was rumored you were going to make your debut. This dude has ZERO competitive

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