'Not about being cute': NBA rival fires back at Ben Simmons

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Philadelphia's Ben Simmons and Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert have taken some subtle shots at one another over the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award. Pictures: Getty Images
Philadelphia's Ben Simmons and Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert have taken some subtle shots at one another over the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award. Pictures: Getty Images

It'd be fair to say Ben Simmons and the Utah Jazz have never really seen eye to eye when it comes to end of season awards in the NBA.

First there was the back and forth with Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell in their rookie seasons (technically Simmons second year in the league after being sidelined for his first) over who was more deserving of the Rookie of the Year.

'CLASS ACT': Basketball world mourns death of 'one of the best ever'

'THIS STINKS': NBA rocked by 'brutal' LaMelo Ball injury

The pair had an amusing back and forth in 2018, but fast forward three years and Simmons is now feuding with Jazz big man Rudy Gobert over the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award.

Simmons, who has been touted as a leading contender for the award for most of the season, was asked about his chances and competition over the weekend.

The 76ers star said the advantage he had over Gobert in particular, was his ability to guard all positions on the court, with the Jazz big man often put in mismatches against smaller, faster guards.

“No disrespect to Rudy at all, he is a great shot blocker, defender, but he’s not guarding one through five, he is guarding fives and probably big fours,” Simmons said.

“He’s a great defender, but I don’t think he’s guarding one through fives, you can’t tell him to go guard Kawhi (Leonard) or Paul (George) or guard a point guard. He’s not doing that on a daily basis.”

Gobert though, was having none of it.

Already a two-time DPOY in his own right, the towering 216cm center argued his overall defensive impact counted for more.

“To me, it’s about impact,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune

“It’s about how much impact you can have on the court and how much impact we can have on your teammates.

“And at the end of the day, how much impact you can have on your team and on the other team.

“It’s not about being cute. It’s not about looking good. It’s not about narratives. It’s not about having a big name, it’s about coming out every single night, trying to grind defensively and have that impact on the game.”

Fans have also weighed in on the spirited debate online.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Knicks' Derrick Rose confirms he had COVID-19

Derrick Rose has rejoined the New York Knicks, though it's unclear when he will play again in the NBA as he recovers from COVID-19.

Looking tired, the 32-year-old Rose underscored the severity of the virus, detailing his struggles.

"Oh man, I was away because I actually had it," Rose told reporters.

"I felt all of the symptoms, sick and everything. But I'm happy to be back and that's in the past.

"It was completely different. They say everybody is different, but with me, I never felt anything like that before.

"The COVID thing, I know a lot of people overlook it but it's very serious. It's real.

"I had the flu. It's nothing like the flu. ... It was that times 10."

New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose says he felt the full effects of the coronavirus after contracting it several weeks ago. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose says he felt the full effects of the coronavirus after contracting it several weeks ago. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Rose, who hasn't played since February 28, missed the final two games before the All-Star break and all six games so far in the second half of the season.

The Knicks announced that he was out of the NBA's health and safety protocols, but the point guard has to regain his strength and fitness before he can return to competition.

"He has to go through conditioning and once he's ready to go we'll move forward with it. But he's been out for a while now so he's just starting to ramp it up again and we'll see how it goes," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

With AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

x
x