Five-year-old photo exposes 'troubling' truth about Ben Simmons

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Ben Simmons, pictured here at Philadelphia 76ers training.
The 2016 scouting report about Ben Simmons makes for some telling reading. (Photo: AAP/Twitter)

A scouting report about Ben Simmons before he was drafted into the NBA in 2016 has re-emerged, and it makes for some telling reading five years on.

Simmons was the No.1 pick in the 2016 draft and touted as a mega-star in the making.

However there were red flags back then that have popped up again five years later amid Simmons' toxic falling out with the Philadelphia 76ers.

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ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony followed Simmons from college basketball to the NBA and wrote a telling scouting report before he was drafted.

On Tuesday, Givony re-shared an article he wrote at the time, saying: “The question marks around Ben Simmons have always been there for those who have followed him closely. 

"Interesting to look back at the article I wrote about him 5 1/2 years ago.”

Givony's scouting report reads: “Simmons’ lack of competitiveness in some crucial games has raised questions about his character as a basketball player. 

"While many top picks succumb to the NBA star lifestyle and emerge as average competitors, it’s rare to see that at the collegiate level.

“Simmons has displayed an apathy for defence, contact and delivering winning plays in crucial moments. Those troubling revelations in Simmons’ game are cause for concern among decision-makers on lottery teams with whom we’ve had contact.

"The concerns about Simmons’ character didn’t magically appear the moment he arrived on campus in Baton Rouge. Those sentiments also have been expressed by members of the Australian national team who have spent time with him at the junior and senior levels.

“Australian players and coaches who have been around him don’t speak about him in flattering terms, calling him ‘the Yank’ to highlight how different he is compared with most of the players from that country, and perhaps highlight how much moving to the United States at a young age and immersing himself in the AAU world has shaped him.

“Those who know him best say he needs things to revolve around him on and off the court and that he’s often been close-minded to coaching or instruction.”

Ben Simmons kicked out of practice, banned by 76ers

Simmons doesn't want to play - or even practice - with the 76ers anymore so coach Doc Rivers sent him home on Tuesday before he was suspended for their NBA season opener.

The Australian star refused to play as a full participant at Tuesday's practice, a day after he lingered outside a team huddle and mostly stayed alone in a corner without talking to teammates.

Simmons will not play on Wednesday in New Orleans and it seems inconceivable he will suit up for Friday's home opener in front of 20,000 furious 76ers fans ready to boo him out of the Wells Fargo Center.

He has not talked publicly since his off-season trade request - his early exit from practice meant he skipped Tuesday's scheduled media availability - and there's no telling if he'll return to the Sixers.

Rivers remained diplomatic and said Simmons would be welcome to return to practice - despite him being suspended for one game what the Sixers described as "conduct detrimental to the team".

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, pictured here in action for the 76ers.
Joel Embiid is fed up with the Ben Simmons fiasco. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

"I just thought he was a distraction today," Rivers said on Tuesday after practice.

"I didn't think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. 

"It was early. It wasn't a big deal. I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice."

Details have since emerged about how big the disconnect between Simmons and the Sixers has been, with reports he frequently ignores teammates and staff and spends as little time at the practice facility as possible.

"People present at the scene say Simmons has simply come and gone inside the 76ers' facility since returning to practice Sunday," NBA insider Shams Charania reported.

"He enters the facility and ignores most 76ers staffers. For instance, when the 76ers' security official greeted Simmons on Sunday, the three-time All-Star just walked right by him.

"When others greet him, Simmons typically has given no response."

with AAP

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