Stan Van Gundy and Ric Bucher – A Case Study in Contrasting Ben Simmons Viewpoints

Ben Simmons in 2019
Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons – one of the most polarizing players in Philly history?

He went for a triple double last night and has consistently busted his ass for the Sixers, yet it seems like half of the NBA world loves him and the other half can’t stand him.

I thought that was exemplified rather perfectly in contrasting takes delivered by Stan Van Gundy and Ric Bucher, with SVG saying this about Ben while doing color commentary on the TNT broadcast:

Bucher, who is now with SiriusXM and Bleacher Report, had the complete opposite take, saying this morning on Undisputed that he’d trade Simmons:

Keep in mind, this is the same Bucher who famously said a few years ago that he trusted the New York Knicks’ process and ripped the Sixers’ rebuild.

And no, Simmons doesn’t have any semblance of a jump shot, but he still went for 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists against a very good LA team last night. That’s why it’s hard to get too bent out of shape about Ben, when you think about the type of ceiling he can reach WITH that skill added to his game.

The correct path forward, of course, is to try to make the Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on-court relationship work. You saw how much better it looked with Al Horford coming off the bench and Brett Brown staggering his rotations appropriately last night. Ben and Joel will never be the perfect fit, but they can certainly play together at a very high level, so you’ve gotta be hesitant to blow that up when you have two pseudo-generational talents on your roster.

It really is fascinating though. Simmons draws more contrasting viewpoints than Carson Wentz, Claude Giroux, Bryce Harper, or any other current Philly athlete.

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8 Responses

  1. SVG ruined the Pistons, and Ric Bucher has never been right about anything in his entire life. Not to take some shine off your great investigative work here , kev but Bucher has had an axe to grind with Simmons going all the way back to the Draft in 2016 ripping him for his lack of jumper and said he didn’t think Ben was a franchise player. He essentially had the WIP host/Howard Eskin take that Simmons was “just another Center who was going to compete for minutes with Okafor and Noel”. Even before the draft he was reporting that the Sixers were going to trade back and select Kris Dunn whom he branded the next John Wall, but it almost sounded like it was just wishful thinking on his part that they would take Dunn since it’s obvious this guy has zero real sources inside NBA circles. His whole “i would trade Simmons” take today is just more wishful thinking in hopes to say he was right.

  2. I lean towards SVG’s appraisal. The only thing that drives me nuts about Ben is his sporadic timidity. Other than that he’s damn good.

  3. Can a guy make a mistake or two without an f’ing article being written about it? Yeah, like you’ve never had a typo, Mullin. So petty

    1. You are beautiful on the inside. You are innocence personified. And I will drag you down and sell you out. Run away. I am cold like December snow. I have carved out this soul made of stone. Embrassed by the darkness, I am losing the light, encircled by demons I fight. What have I become? Now that I’ve betrayed, everyone I’ve ever loved I’ve pushed them all away. And I have been a slave, to the Judas in my mind. Is there something left for me to save in the wreckage of my life

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