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Ben Simmons hasn’t played a basketball game in nearly one calendar year. The last time NBA fans saw Simmons, he was deathly afraid to shoot the basketball, and ever since getting bounced out of the playoffs with his then-team Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons has been largely ghost.
After refusing to shoot the ball or contribute in any meaningful way to the 76ers last year, head coach Doc Rivers and superstar center Joel Embiid called his poor play and disengagement out during post-game interviews.
Ben Simmons, likely embarrassed and exposed, chose not to better his offensive production, practice with the greats before him, or adapt more skill. Instead, Simmons sulked and refused to talk to the 76ers for months before showing up to a practice completely withdrawn from his teammates.
Since that point, Ben Simmons returned to the couch and quietly worked his way out of Philadelphia in a blockbuster trade in which he was swapped to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for among other players, shooting guard James Harden.
At the time of the trade earlier this year, Simmons was assumed to be healthy and ready to hoop, however, since being acquired by his new team, it’s been revealed that Simmons apparently has a herniated disc in his back and has yet to compete. NBA teams routinely have players perform physicals before trades, however, it is unclear if the injury was disclosed at the time.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Simmons’ back
Ben Simmons hasn’t played basketball in a year but he has back problems now that he didn’t have when he played last year. Somebody make it make sense.
After working through his back issue, Ben Simmons was reportedly on his way back to the NBA court to rescue his floundering teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving from getting swept by the Boston Celtics in a Game 4 matchup scheduled for tonight. However, it was announced over the weekend Simmons would not be available for the game after all.
The decision not to play was met with widespread scrutiny and even his most arduous supporters were left once again disappointed in the once-NBA star. For the majority of Simmons’ time with the Nets, he’s relegated himself to the bench adorning gaudy chains and flashy clothes (even by NBA standards).
2021 Brooklyn Nets were doomed from the start.
In a year that star guard Kyrie Irving missed a majority of games due to his COVID-19 vaccine refusal, the Brooklyn Nets were largely kept afloat by mega-scorer Kevin Durant’s offensive output but with KD struggling like never before, a little bit of Simmons would go a long way.
Add up inconsistent wins, an unproven and undeserving head coach Steve Nash, an out-of-shape James Harden, and an inexplicably benched Ben Simmons, and the Nets barely squeezed into the playoffs as the 7 seed.
Yet, Brooklyn Nets fans and teammates were salivating for Simmons’ Game 4 debut to bring a defensive presence sorely needed right now. Ultimately, they learned the same lesson the Philadelphia 76ers did last year, when you need Ben Simmons most, he’s nowhere to be found.