There are plenty of journalists, pundits, and fans out there opining on the news that Brooklyn Nets’ forward Ben Simmons now plans not to play in Monday’s Game 4 (with his team down 3-0) against the Boston Celtics thanks to “back pain.” But it’s a little more unusual to see that from one of the top NBA on TNT game analysts. That’s what happened Sunday afternoon, though, with TNT game analyst Reggie Miller absolutely lighting Simmons up:
Cmon MAN!!! Out for Game 4 when it was rumored you were going to make your debut. This dude has ZERO competitive ?.. As small a chance as the Nets have to come back in this series, you still have KD and Kyrie, all you need is to win ONE game and take it from there.. #ManUp pic.twitter.com/Y5smcnQkqZ
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) April 24, 2022
It’s sort of fascinating to see a take of this level from an active, high-level commentator. Yes, there have been lots of cases of media figures weighing in on active players, but the vitriol hasn’t often been to this extent. And it’s notable that even within Turner Sports, many more of the significant takes have come from their Inside The NBA studio show cast rather than the game commentators. It’s pretty unusual to see a game analyst like Miller light an active player like Simmons (seen above during Game 3 Saturday) up this way.
With that said, though, there’s a lot that’s understandable with Miller’s comments here. Simmons’ behavior over the past few years has opened himself up to a lot of outside criticism, and that only intensified with this February’s trade that saw him (as well as Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round picks) headto the Nets in return for James Harden and Paul Millsap. That trade keeps looking worse and worse for the Nets, especially with Simmons repeatedly stating that his injuries won’t let him return to the court. And if the Nets are in fact eliminated Monday, there are plenty who will be repeating Miller’s criticisms of Simmons this offseason.
[Reggie Miller on Twitter]