‘I was p---ed’: Simmons opens up
BEN Simmons has become the latest victim of American comedian Kevin Hart.
Fresh from his first NBA All Star Game appearance, after becoming the first Australian to be selected for the annual battle of the superstars, the Philadelphia 76ers' guard has co-starred in the latest Cold As Balls comedy short filmed by Hart for his Laugh Out Loud online network.
The video covers some of the prickliest topics that have surrounded last season's NBA Rookie of the Year.
It also revealed the hilarious moment the Aussie was privately seething at Hart for riling up NBA superstar Dwyane Wade from his courtside seats during last season's NBA Playoffs.
The Sixers won through to the second round of the playoffs with a 4-1 win over Wade's Heat - but that didn't mean there weren't speed humps along the way.
Simmons told Hart during the interview, which was released on Monday night, that Hart was responsible for one of his most frustrating nights at the office - when Wade caught fire and scored 28 points on Simmons during their playoffs series.
As far as the Melbourne product is concern - Hart, a Philly local and 76ers fan - is responsible for all of it.
"How do you guys feel about me, when I'm on the sidelines," Hart asked Simmons as they filmed an interview waist deep in side-by-side ice baths.
"When I'm there and I'm talking s--- to the other team?"
Simmons' response was priceless.
"There was this one time against Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade," he said.
"You were talking s--- to him the whole time. He hit a big shot right in my face and I remember thinking, 'Why is Kevin talking to him? Why can't he just sit down and enjoy the game?'
"I was p---ed. They won the game. We met them in the playoffs."
Hart admits after years of following the Sixers through the team's dark periods before Simmons and All Star centre Joel Embiid teamed up to guide the team to the playoffs last season, he thought he may have secretly cursed the team every time he showed up to watch them at the Wells Fargo Centre.
"There was a moment we were playing against Boston," Hart said.
"We were up by 20 and they came back and I was sitting there with a drink in hand and there was a moment where I was thinking, 'It might be me.'"
Hart went on to beg Simmons to never leave the franchise and said with a straight face that he believed the Aussie was the best player in the league.
It wasn't all flattery and charm, however.
The comedian also couldn't help making jokes about Simmons' fascination with Aussie rules football.
Hart seems to think it's the same thing as rugby league or rugby union.
"It's pretty big," Simmons said when asked if basketball was huge in Australia.
"I would say Australian football would be the main sport."
Kevin Hart is not a fan.
"Why do those guys wear panties when they play," he asked Simmons.
"And then they hug each other when they play. They get the ball and then they get behind each other and smell each other's butts. There's a lot of weird stuff going on in that sport."
Simmons has never had to go into bat for the AFL and his beloved Essendon Bombers quite like this.
The Boomers point guard also had to tiptoe his way around some tough questions about close friend and mentor LeBron James when Hart was sticking his boot into the four-time NBA MVP.
Simmons was called on to explain why his team wasn't able to recruit James during the off-season, when the former Cavaliers superstar took his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Hart was not forgiving of James' decision to brush his team.
"But a part of you is thinking 'f--- that,'" Hart said.
"I don't need you here Bron. This is my situation. Take your big scalp and you go somewhere else."
Simmons responded by simply saying James was the best player in the NBA.
"It's clear that everybody thinks that LeBron is the best player in the league," he said.
"That's not one of those things that's up for debate."
Hart disagreed: "Which is bulls---.
"That's bulls---. That's a bunch of bulls--- if you ask me. Ben Simmons gets my vote every day of the week and it's not because you're in Philadelphia."