Nets’ Ben Simmons responds to social media criticism, viral video of air ball: ‘It finds me all the time’

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Ben Simmons has received significant criticism on social media over the last few years. The latest incident that sparked negative attention was when the Brooklyn Nets guard-forward airballed a shot during an event for fans in a Brooklyn park on Sunday. 

The video of his miss went viral, even though he ended up winning a knockout game against several of his teammates during the event. Here’s a look: 

Simmons wasn’t happy with the reaction his airball got, but apparently he’s used to this type of attention.

“It finds me all the time,” Simmons told ESPN on Wednesday. “And it doesn’t f—ing stop. Sometimes I’m even sick of it, but then I’m like, ‘OK, I’m Ben Simmons, you know? It comes with being Ben Simmons right now.’

The 26-year-old pointed out that other players airballed multiple shots but didn’t get called out the same way he did. Simmons admitted that sometimes the stuff people say does get in his head, but he understands the position he is in requires him to have “tough skin” and that he can’t take everything on social media personally.

Simmons sat out last season after requesting a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers while focusing on his mental health. He was eventually traded to the Nets but then dealt with a back injury and had surgery in May. The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is trying to keep things in perspective and is seeing the attention as a positive.

“Because people know what I can do, what I’m capable of,” Simmons said. “I believe that’s what it is. Like if I was somebody that wasn’t capable of doing certain things, I don’t think people would be on my ass as much. And I don’t mind it because it kind of motivates me in a way. Obviously, sometimes it’s a lot for anybody to deal with that, but I look at it a little bit like a respect thing, in a way.”

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