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June 20, 2019

Ben Simmons just liked a Kendall Jenner Instagram for the first time in months

We're in the middle of NBA rumor season, and this makes the cut: Does Bendall still have a pulse?

Celebrities Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner instagram post James Lang/USA Today Sports Images

Kendall Jenner, pictured here at a Sixers game during the 2018-19 NBA season, once dated Ben Simmons. They reportedly broke up. Then social media happened. What does it all mean?

Hours before the NBA Draft, and just 10 days ahead of free agency, we finally have some big breaking news about a key Sixers player.

Ben Simmons liked one of Kendall Jenner's Instagram posts on Thursday.

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Huge stuff, we know. I'm about to reveal myself as a shameless Instagram scroller, and someone who pays too much attention to Jenner's social media habits, so buckle up.

Jenner posted a branded advertisement post with Proactiv on Thursday, a brand with which she's done plenty of sponsored posts in the past:

(The photos used in the post were taken in Brooklyn, so: Ben Simmons to the Nets?)

Jenner and Simmons, you might remember, were dating throughout this past NBA season. They were seen buying fruit at a grocery store, a Christmas tree in Cherry Hill, and generally being an oddly normal couple in Philadelphia. There was even marriage talk! Then, in May, they broke up. All of this is to say, Simmons liking this specific post pretty interesting.

We've taken a screenshot of the Simmons like heard 'round the world, for posterity and journalism:

Kendall Jenner Instagram Ben Simmons

Simmons, as far as our cursory internet sleuthing could tell, hasn't liked any of Jenner's Instagram posts since Feb. 1, which dates back far before the couple's believed split.

Simmons was more active in liking (and commenting on) ex-girlfriend Tinashe's Instagram posts during their relationship than he was in engaging with Jenner's posts. Simmons choosing to like a post now, after not liking one while he and Jenner were ostensibly still together and the Sixers were shuffling through the end of the regular season, is curious.

Of course, this could also all be a ploy. PhillyVoice's Slack chat brought this possibility up almost immediately, when Sports Editor Matt Mullin floated this concept: "I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if Ben was paid to like that post. Ben likes a post by Kendall and everyone writes it up, thus giving way more exposure to the sponsored post."

He later acknowledged he's too cynical, but maybe he's on to something. This is the height of NBA rumor season, topic be damned. With the NBA Draft tonight and free agency around the corner, maybe Proactiv's marketing team knew NBA fans would be clicking anything and everything on social media for clues about their teams' respective futures, and they hashed out a sponsorship deal with both Jenner and Simmons.

Here's hoping it's not one big capitalist scheme, and there's still a spark between the two, because I think they're kind of cute together.

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