Ben Simmons, the first overall pick in last month’s draft, had to leave his summer league debut with cramping in his calves.
On Monday Ben Simmons, the hope of Sixers fans everywhere, made his debut in the Utah summer league.
By all indications he impressed many with some great passes and relentlessly attacking the glass. Simmons finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes on the floor in the Sixers 102-94 loss to the Boston Celtics..
But none of that is what Sixers fans are going to remember about Simmons’ debut.
With 4:10 left in the fourth quarter, Simmons fell to the floor and had to be helped off the court by his teammates after driving to the basket.
And Sixers Nation promptly lost their collective shit.
Social media exploded with fans freaking out and desperately looking for more information about what exactly was happening with Simmons. Some openly wondered if the team was cursed. Others quickly wrote off the season and started looking forward to next year.
Thankfully, it was revealed that Simmons was just dealing with cramping in both his calves and despite trying to rehydrate during the third quarter the issue persisted. Sixers summer league coach Billy Lange decided to bench the future franchise player for the rest of the game instead of taking any chances.
Simmons blamed the cramps on the fact that he had not played since March when LSU was eliminated from the SEC basketball tournament, telling CSN Philly.com:
“It’s been about four months since I played. That’s the main reason. I haven’t played in a while.”
In fact, when you consider Simmons didn’t really play that hard while at LSU, which is what led to some questioning his work ethic, it has probably been even longer. which is what led to some questioning his work ethic, The thin Utah air obviously didn’t help matters either.
The Sixers have decided to err on the side of caution and sit Simmons for the second game of the Utah summer league against the San Antonio Spurs. Lange implied that this was part of the plan anyway and shouldn’t alarm anyone.
“We said [on Sunday] that we were going to take it smart from here on out. He will not play tomorrow. We were going to space out the minutes to begin with, so this has nothing to do with tonight.”
Before leaving the game, Simmons showed why the Sixers took him with the first pick. In addition, fans had a glimpse of just what he may be capable of down the road. He was generous with his teammates and showed that his court vision is as good as advertised.
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Relax Sixers fans. Simmons is fine and will be back for Game 3 of the Utah summer league.
The best is yet to come.