Ben Simmons lost his game of chicken when he returned to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week. While Simmons awaits the all-clear to return to practice, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN published a story about how the two sides got to this point. It includes an absolutely scorching nugget about Simmons nearly missing Game 7 against the Hawks because of a possible COVID exposure. Via ESPN:
Simmons was being held out of the team's shootaround, he told them, due to a possible exposure to a team masseuse, who'd returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test.
Several players were questioned about whether they'd seen her that morning, but only Simmons said that he had.
"He answered the question honestly, without thinking of the implications," says one source close to Simmons.
But according to multiple sources, many within the team questioned whether Simmons had actually seen the masseuse -- or was just trying to get out of playing as he battled the basketball version of the yips.
That is just a brual accussation. We've been over Simmons' performance in that series many times by now, but saying he tried to skip Game 7 is pretty bold.
When you look at the four shots he attempted and the infamous shot he passed up, you can see how somebody might have gotten there on a message board or something, but it's pretty crazy to see it actually show up in print.