The Unlikely Hero: Ben Simmons and the NBAPA

Ben Simmons exhibits flashy attire and sunglasses while perched on the bench to monitor the Nets. His desk job as a well-paid point forward in the NBA is enviable. Simmons’ return to the Nets coincides with the NBA’s 65-game rule to combat load management being exposed as detrimental. This policy does not allow players returning from injuries to meet the minimum number of games required to qualify for All-NBA teams, costing them millions in potential earnings. The aggressive push to curtail load management has forced ailing players to make tough decisions. Simmons’ injury-plagued season has raised awareness about player injuries and questioning them. He returned to action this week, but hasn’t played since landing awkwardly on his left leg. Through it all, he has unique value when healthy, which is 50 percent of the battle. Simmons should have a statue in the NBPA. He’s a symbol of why players should fight the NBA’s anti-load management rule. The NBA has this all wrong, and the 65-game rule needs to be reassessed.