Ben Simmons disrespects fellow sophomore Donovan Mitchell after clinching a 114-97 win over his rival.
Ben Simmons is a polarizing figure in the sense that his brash confidence splits the fan vote into Betas and Alphas. If that sort of classification seems dated on a philosophical level, that's because a "Mamba Mentality" only works on the field of play - not as well behind closed doors.
When Ben Simmons, a self-proclaimed "alpha," visited Salt Lake City, Thursday Night, he had one thing on his mind: edging his rival Donovan Mitchell, the person he beat out by a wide margin in the 2018 Rookie of the Year voting race. But at the risk of sounding trite, Ben Simmons would like the media to use a different word than "race" when describing the final voting results: 90-11 in Simmons' favor.
After helping his side to 114-97 win over Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, Ben Simmons basked in a chorus of boos from the home crowd. "I love being able to come into an arena and hear boos and chants, whatever it is, see signs and come in here and win by 20," said Simmons after the game. "I mean, there's nothing better than that."
And if you thought the award was enough to defuse the tension between Simmons and his then-rookie rival, think again. Within the same press conference, told another reporter representing the Salt Lake City Tribune to check his biases at the door. When asked to characterize last year's rivalry with Mitchell, Ben Simmons resorted to expletive language. "It wasn't a f--king race,” Simmons said. "You saw the votes, right? … Did you see the votes? So what’s the question?" Besides helping his side to a victory, Ben Simmons posted yet another triple-double scoreline of 13 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists, on the night.