Ben Simmons of Brooklyn continues to be a hot topic despite trade rumors involving his Knicks teammate Kevin Durant and Irving’s Boston Celtics squad. During Monday’s episode of ESPN’s “First Take,” Stephen A. Smith discussed a recent conversation he had with Simmons.
I had an issue with him sitting out, but that’s in the past now, and he’s raring to play. The man insists he is completely prepared to leave. Smith declared, “I’m pulling for the sibling.
The other day I bumped into Ben Simmons, and he told me. pic.twitter.com/kLjhRu6OW4 August 15, 2022 — Stephen A. Smith (@stephenasmith)
However, Simmons has yet to make an appearance for the Nets after being traded from the 76ers to Brooklyn last year. In May, he had surgery to fix his back, and now he’s getting ready for training camp.
Simmons has been on the receiving end of some harsh criticism from Smith, who called him “pathetic” on the April 25 episode of “First Take” for missing Game 4 of the Celtics’ first-round playoff series last year. Simmons suffered from both a back injury and a mental block.
Smith said on Monday that Simmons told him he was ready for the upcoming season after hearing about his struggles from the previous year.
The Nets hoped that Simmons would come to Brooklyn for the summer to get some much-needed rest and treatment. This mattered to the 26-year-old man. Simmons was spotted in Brooklyn where he is Nets ambassador, working out and visiting local schools. In fact, he joined Nets GM Sean Marks, head coach Steve Nash, and co-owner Clara Wu Tsai at a screening of the WNBA documentary “Unfinished Business.”
Simmons is a candidate to start at center for Brooklyn this season. Simmons, who finished second to Kawhi Leonard for NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, can defend all five positions, giving the Nets an extremely potent starting five in the event that Durant and Irving return.
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