The thing about me is, I love a good #SourceOff. I can't get enough of 'em and it's why I love NBA rumor season. Everyone has a "SOURCE:" tweet these days. People say wild shit during the downtime of the NBA calendar in hopes of going viral. Whether it's Shams vs Woj who might have conflicting reports, or another "media" person putting out some sort of narrative, I love when we get conflicting reports. It usually means someone's lying, which I find very entertaining.
As a recap, Ric Buchor put this story of Simmons leaving the Nets group chat out there initially
It's really one of the more ridiculous things you'll hear, but that whole Simmons/BKN situation is such a dumpster fire that upon first hearing that story you're inclined to believe it. I remember that series (although it was rather quick due to the whole Celts sweep thing) and the whole will he or won't he when it came to Ben Simmons playing was exhausting. Woj/Shams would throw out there that he was targeting a certain date, then a few days later there'd be a report that his back hurt, then there'd be another report that he could play like it would have actually made a difference. The whole thing was weird, so it's not totally out of the realm of possibility that Simmons left a group chat about him playing. An insane move no doubt, but plausible.
So where does the #SourceOff come in? Well, Shams had something to say about this specific story. Mostly, that it was complete bullshit
Shams: Pat, I just said I need to be on the show tomorrow. All I'm going to say on this is, this never happened. It never happened. Ben Simmons is doing more on the floor, he's looking good, I think the Nets have high expectations for Ben Simmons for next year. You talk about a guy 3x All Star, 2x All NBA guy, I think there are high expectations for Simmons, he's supposed to be ready for training camp here in a month and a half, so he's doing more on the court I'm told. Good news on the Ben Simmons front, this though was not something that occured.
Alright, so who's lying? It can't be both. Either Bucher made this entire thing up (or got bad info) or Shams is trying to cover for Simmons. Why might he do that you ask? Hmm, who is Shams' agent again? Ah right, the United Talent Agency. If that name doesn't sound familiar, they partnered with Klutch Sports Group (Rich Paul & LeBron) back in 2019. Who represents Ben Simmons you might be asking?
Oh right, Rich Paul and Klutch. So, is it possible that this could just be Klutch trying to do some damage control for their client? I mean, it's not the best look for Simmons and he has enough image problems to deal with already. I don't think that's such a crazy thing to wonder.
It's also not too crazy to suggest that Bucher is full of shit. Wouldn't be the first time something like this has blown up in his face. Whether this is something he was told and decided to run with or if he just made it up would be my next question. Sometimes you're only as good as the info you got. It would be really really weird to just make that story up out of thin air if you're Bucher, but then again it went viral and he got his name out there so maybe he did.
At this point, I'm not sure it matters if this story is true or not. It hit the internet and that's usually enough. If I had to guess I'd say it's probably bullshit just because it's too outrageous to be real and we are currently at a time where it plays on social to take digs at the Nets and their players. Sure flat out making something up probably isn't ethical or whatever if you consider yourself a journalist, but when has that ever stopped someone before?
So, Shams vs Bucher……who ya got?