Exec Reveals Fear-Striking Exchange Between Bradley Beal & Ex-Sixer Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons, Bradley Beal

Getty Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, Ben Simmons formerly of the Philadelphia 76ers

Former Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons’ struggles in the NBA have been well-documented for years now. One particular issue has been his free throw shooting, having been a career 59.1% shooter from the charity stripe. An executive revealed to Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett when the NBA first exploited Simmons’ free throw shooting issues.

“The first guy that started the Hack-a-Ben process was Scott Brooks with Washington,” the exec told Bulpett. “They’re playing Philly a few years ago, and Philly’s up by around 20. Brooks starts putting Simmons on the line in the fourth quarter, and the game is getting closer as Ben is stepping to the line and bricking more and more foul shots. So finally, Bradley Beal had to foul him. Usually, you don’t have your best player fouling, but at that point, he did.

“When that happened, Ben and Beal had this sort of animated conversation. Ben said, ‘I’m tired of you motherf*****s fouling me on purpose, man. I’m going to step up here and knock these two down. Five thousand dollars says I will.’ To which Beal replied, ‘You wanna make it 20?’ And then he went up and bricked one. I don’t think he said another word.”

The exec then said that was the start of Simmons’ phobia of shooting the ball came to the forefront.

“There were certain indicators of this struggle early on. How did you miss it? And that is why he won’t shoot the ball. He lives in fear of having to shoot free throws or shooting airballs from the floor.”

Simmons has shot his worst from the free throw line with the Brooklyn Nets this season, shooting 43.9% from the stripe.

Ben Simmons’ Thoughts on Demotion to Bench

After all the moves they made at the NBA Trade Deadline, Simmons is no longer in the Nets’ starting five. Following his demotion, Simmons gave his thoughts on his newfound role with the Nets to Kristian Winfield of New York Daily News.

“Everything’s been changing all year, so it’s hard to really understand what’s going on, but hopefully we find some rhythm and consistency,” Simmons told Winfield. “It’s different. It’s a different experience (coming off the bench). So whatever the team needs from us to win, I’m willing to do that.”

Simmons also admitted his frustrations with trying to find himself with the Nets, but with the team set in stone for the rest of the season, he believes they can find some consistency.

“I think it’s a little frustrating trying to find some rhythm and consistency, but that’s what it is at this point right now,” he said. “Guys have been in and out due to injuries, trades, so there’s been a lot of different things that play factors into it. Hopefully, now we get a little bit of a stretch where we can find some rhythm and consistency.”

Doc Rivers is Pulling For Simmons

After the Sixers beat the Nets on February 11, head coach Doc Rivers said that he’s rooting for his former player while voicing his optimism that Simmons will return to what he was before.

“I always have an affection for the guys I coach,” Rivers said, per Ky Carlin of SixersWire. “It never goes away. It doesn’t, and I believe he can get back to where he was with us. Especially, now that he’s gonna have the ball in his hands more. I think that’s what we did that kinda freed him up, but it’s just gonna take time. Now, what, it’s been a year and a half? I don’t think it’ll be overnight, but he’s working, and that’s all you can do. I hope the best.”