Out Indefinitely: A Sixers Story
On Sunday night Ben Simmons suffered a lower back injury in the first quarter of a game against the bucks. This was a re-aggravation of an injury that he previously suffered in a practice the week before. Today, he was ruled out Indefinitely.
Players get injured every year, it’s an unfortunate reality that we as fans, organizations and players have to face. I would never sit here and say that every time an organization demonstrated poor judgement when deciding to play someone through an injury that action needed to be taken. With that being said, I think it is time for the sixers to make some changes and reevaluate how they make these types of decisions.
If this were a stand-alone incident, I would probably brush this off. Hell, if this was the second or third incident i would probably brush it off, but I can only see this same thing happen season after season before I start to connect the dots. Dating back to 2016, the sixers have re-aggravated a Joel Embiid knee injury twice, played Joel Embiid the most minutes in the league for the first stretch of the season in 2018 season, let Markelle Fultz play through a shoulder injury during a SUMMER LEAGUE GAME that arguably lead to him physically forgetting how to shoot a basketball, allowed one of their best young players to average collectively 34 and a half minutes per game over the course of the last 3 seasons, and now this. They have an extremely bad habit of making short term decisions that lead to long term consequences.
Aside from these specific examples, they have a much deeper history of injuries since 2013. Nerlens Noel, joel Embiid, Jahlil okafor, markelle fultz, zhaire Smith, and Ben Simmons each missed significant portions of their rookie year. Embiid also hasn’t had a healthy playoffs since he’s been here and Markelle Fultz couldn’t see the floor the entire time he was there. We can’t blame all of these injuries on front office/medical staff negligence, but when it happens so often, I believe it’s fair to be skeptical.
And lastly, we can not pretend that players don’t recognize these trends too. Kawhi Leonard forced his way out of an organization with arguably the greatest coach of all time because he felt his injuries were mishandled. And after he left, the spurs have found it significantly harder to land free agents. I do not see a reason that the sixers organization should not be worried of a similar fate for themselves if this trend continues.