Ben Simmons takes shot at Rudy Gobert in DPOY race: 'He’s not guarding everybody ... I had 42'

Jason Owens
·2-min read

Rudy Gobert is the favorite to win his third Defensive Player of the Year trophy. 

But Ben Simmons isn't far behind in the race and made his case for the hardware during an appearance on ESPN's "The Jump" on Tuesday. The Philadelphia 76ers guard touted his versatility in an interview with host Rachel Nichols. He couldn't resist taking a shot at Gobert in the process.

"I’m one of those guys who can guard one through five," Simmons said. "Obviously, there’s a lot of respect for Rudy. I know what he’s capable of. I know he’s great down there in the paint.

"But he’s not guarding everybody, and that’s just what it is. He guarded me in Utah. I had 42. And apparently I’m not a scorer. It is what it is."

Simmons then went on to reiterate that "I have a lot of respect" for Gobert. OK, Ben.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) gets past Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) and looks to the basket during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Chris Nicoll)
Ben Simmons trails only Rudy Gobert in the odds to win Defensive Player of the Year. (AP Photo/Chris Nicoll)

Simmons should've checked the box score first

Unlike Gobert, Simmons has never won DPOY. But he was the NBA steals champ last season en route to first-team All-Defensive Team honors. He's making a strong effort this season in what's shaping up to be another All-Defensive Team campaign, averaging 1.6 steals on a 76ers team that ranks second in the NBA in defensive rating. 

But he probably should have checked the whole box score before touting his big effort against the Jazz in February. Yes, he scored 42 points. But the Jazz lit up the scoreboard in a 134-123 win, led by backup guard Jordan Clarkson who dropped 40 points on the 76ers. 

Simmons can point to plenty of credentials to make his DPOY case. That Feb. 15 loss to the Jazz is not one of them. 

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