The hype machine around one Ben Simmons has had him pegged as some sort of hybrid between the next coming of Lebron James and Magic Johnson before he started his year at LSU. And so now the 76ers with the #1 pick have to select Ben Simmons. There is no choice. To not pick him is to completely fail as a NBA Franchise. For the beleaguered 76ers they may feel extreme pressure to simply take Simmons to avoid the appearance of making a mistake. But sure enough Ben Simmons could end up being the worst mistake of this rebuild.
The Hype machine has made it so that Simmons is viewed as a sure fire bet. All the concerns are being dismissed as if they are analogous to concerns people may have had about Lebron, or Kobe back in the day. Even when they don't quite fit. Yes Kobe may have been entitled and overly aware of his image. Yes Lebron may have had the largest hype machine ever. But neither would have ever put together the non-season Simmons put together of non competitive basketball..protecting his draft stock every step of the way. Kobe would never try to hide his jump shot. Lebron has never shied away from leading his team.
Simmons decided to go to LSU...yes his god father worked for the program, but it also meant he could avoid the toughest competition the college ranks could offer. It would be fine if he thrived at LSU, raised the level of the team up a level and carried LSU to a conference championship. He didn't. In fact when push came to shove at the end of games Simmons would tend to disappear. Great players find the ball when it matters the most. Great players lift their teams up. If you are going to lead a franchise you better be willing to shoot the ball especially when your team needs you to.
The Hype Machine says you ignore this lack of competitiveness and sense of entitlement because he is the next Lebron or Kobe. I'm saying if he was the next Lebron or Kobe this wouldn't be a concern.
His body is more NBA ready and Ingram may not be as resilient as Durant in the pros. But to me, that could have been said about Oden vs. Durant. I won't second guess Oden over Durant...Oden vied for a championship in college. But I'll second guess the Simmons hype machine.
Give me Ingram. Give me a guy who wants to compete first.
About a week after I did this rant I came around on Simmons. Still think he's been a bit of a d-bag this last season but a prospect with his tools, the versatility he gives a roster...can't pass up on him.