Actor Jamie Foxx has defended Australian NBA star Ben Simmons after he has been criticised over not competing in the NBA playoff finals.
Simmons was savaged around the NBA world after his planned comeback for the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4 was delayed due to an injury.
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The Aussie was widely expected to make his season and team debut on Monday against the Boston Celtics after a lengthy ramp-up period while dealing with a back injury.
With his team in a 0-3 hole, it would have been a huge boost to have Simmons back on the court.
However, the Aussie was unable to take part in the crucial match, which ended up in a Nets elimination.
And Simmons copped heat from critics, which included outspoken US sportscaster Stephen A Smith.
Smith labelled Simmons' situation as 'pathetic' and said he felt bad for his teammates.
However, Oscar winning actor Foxx has surprisingly backed Simmons in the furore.
Foxx said Smith had crossed the line when it came to criticising Simmons after the Aussie had detailed his struggles during his time at the 76ers.
“That is completely unfair @bensimmons has a family this man has people that love him and this man just plays basketball but to be dragged through the mud like this is unfair,” Foxx wrote.
“And why is it @stephenasmith you only go at basketball players,” he continued. “You [are] completely mute when it comes to the Tom Bradys [and] the Aaron Rodgers of the world… You get where I’m going… stop it bruh it’s out of bounds," Foxx added.
Smith responded to the comments and said Foxx and him had agreed to disagree on the matter.
Stephen A Smith unleashes on Ben Simmons
On ESPN's First Take, Smith let rip at Simmons and his excuse about not playing in Game 4.
“Ben Simmons might also be the weakest, most pathetic excuse for a professional athlete we have ever seen in, not just American history, but the history of sports,” Smith said about Simmons.
“I can’t think of a professional athlete that has come across more pathetic than this man.”
Smith later slammed Simmons after claiming he felt bad for his teammates.
“I feel bad for anyone who is his teammate," Smith added.
“He quit on LSU. He quit on the Philadelphia 76ers and now he ain’t showing up for the Brooklyn Nets."
The Nets lost 4-0 to the Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs.
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