The 25 year old’s impact for Brooklyn has been solely from the bench. Read to find out why Simmons’ shelf life is shrinking.
Ben Simmons Continues to Burn Hole on Nets’ Bench
After being acquired in a blockbuster deal from the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons still has yet to take the court for the Brooklyn Nets. Simmons hasn’t played in an NBA game since the Sixers’ game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals.
He was the centerpiece of Brooklyn’s acquisition from Philadelphia, and had been incredibly vocal against his former team until he was finally traded last month. Despite his on-court prowess from season’s past, Simmons has become a shell of his former self as the future of his professional career continues to be in jeopardy.
Simmons This Season
After spending virtually the entire offseason and beginning of this season going after his then team and playing video games on Twitch, Simmons now has zero excuses for not stepping up for Brooklyn.
He refused to even practice with the Sixers and now that lack of preparedness is coming back to bite him. He has yet to play with the Nets due to an injury flare-up involving his back that has kept him out of action enough for Brooklyn to keep him sidelined despite walking a tightrope in terms of playoff contention.
Even if Simmons’ back issue improves somewhat soon, The Sporting News reported last Saturday that according to Head Coach Steve Nash, the 25 year old is still “far away” from returning to the court. Nash went on to say of Simmons that “He’s not ready for even one-on-one, let alone three-on-three, five-on-five.”
The biggest basketball-related headlines he’s made since being traded to the Nets has been being booed by the crowd in his return to Philadelphia last Thursday. Any Brooklyn fans who were looking forward to seeing Simmons on the floor this season will have to continue to wait as he evidently isn’t even prepared to start practicing with Brooklyn as a unit.
As the Nets have just 14 regular season games remaining, it’s very difficult to imagine that Simmons gets a single minute on the court this season. It’s a shame because when Simmons is playing well every basketball fan knows what he’s capable of. He’s an excellent defender with great overall basketball IQ and ability to create scoring chances.
That version of Simmons just feels like such a long time ago, however, and his not playing a single game this season does not bode well for his future success in the league.
As it currently stands, it’s a pretty safe prediction to say that Simmons will not play at all this season; including any potential postseason games Brooklyn finds themselves in.
He’s still young, but even so, missing an entire season not entirely due to injury is objectively a terrible look. Simmons proved during his time with the Sixers that he doesn’t have much resiliency and simply seems not to value the opportunity to play professional basketball.
Simmons will more than likely be back for the start of the 2022 season, but that’s too long from now to feel positive about and it’s anyone’s guess what his on-court performance will look like when he finally does return as it’d be his first time playing in a real game in over a year.
Even when Simmons does return, the pressure will immediately be falling on his shoulders as he hasn’t exactly been quiet amid all this drama. The Nets gave up James Harden as well as Paul Millsap to get Simmons and the fact that he’s likely going to miss this entire season just puts every game after that under a microscope.
Nets fans should take notes as to what went wrong in Philadelphia. It isn’t often that you have a player’s relationship with his team and city fall apart as quickly and acutely as Simmons’ did with the 76ers.
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