Who Do You Believe? Insiders Fight Over Brooklyn Nets’ Text Scandal
It's been roughly six months since the Brooklyn Nets acquired Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers, and at this point, I think it's fair to say, the experiment has been a total failure so far.
The first mark against Simmons in Brooklyn, is that he hasn't played a single game. Videos of him practicing and working out teased fans throughout the playoffs, but he never actually felt healthy enough to suit up for a game. Worse than that, however, has been the dark cloud of negative publicity that's followed Simmons and the team since his arrival.
The latest storm to emerge from this crowd has to do with a team group chat, and Simmons' alleged actions in it. Some reports say one thing, while others completely disagree.
Who do you believe?
Conflicting Reports Tell Different Stories About Ben Simmons and Brooklyn
As reported by The New York Post, a difference of opinion has emerged among NBA insiders about the accuracy of a story involving Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets' team group chat.
This story exists in a few parts. The first part of the story comes from insider Ric Bucher, who appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd last week. Bucher alleged that during the Nets' playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Simmons was asked by Brooklyn players to join them in the lineup to try and take down Boston.
Simmons not only declined the Nets players' requests, but according to Bucher, left the team's group chat to avoid further discussion.
The second part of the story involves Shams Charania, NBA insider for The Athletic. Charania appeared on The Pat McAfee Show after the original report, and flat-out denied that it had ever happened. He called the story amazing, but asserted multiple times that it was false.
Fast forward to Wednesday of this week, and Ric Bucher returns to the microphone, this time, on the "On The Ball" podcast. According to The Post, Bucher not only doubled down on his original report, but threw a bit of shade at Charania for attempting to disprove his reporting.
This story is an absolute mess, and the latest in a long line of internal issues facing the Brooklyn Nets right now. If it were nearly any other player on the Nets, or in the NBA, I would side with Charania.
That being said, because of all the chaos surrounding Ben Simmons right now, and all of the excuses he seems to make to avoid playing in an NBA game, I'm inclined to side with Bucher, and believe that this actually happened.
The Brooklyn Nets are in Panic Mode Right Now
As I mentioned before, the Brooklyn Nets are in deep trouble right now, and time is running out for them to find a solution.
The Simmons drama is old news at this point, as the focus has shifted onto their two remaining superstars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Stories surfaced earlier this week saying that Durant met with team owner, Joe Tsai, and told him that he must choose between trading him to another team, or parting ways with head coach Steve Nash and General Manager Sean Marks.
Kyrie Irving then doubled down on Durant's comments, saying through a source that he "hates" both Nash and Marks.
So, right now, the Nets have two disgruntled superstars, a young player that has been M.I.A. since he arrived in Brooklyn, a lack of trust between players, staff and ownership, and a lack of assets to make any major trades happen.
Oh, and the season is roughly two months away. Yikes.