It’s been difficult for the Brooklyn Nets to shake off the player that Ben Simmons once was for the player he is now.
After 15 games this season, the team has finally reached a boiling point with the fledgling Simmons. And as is typical with the oft-flaky Simmons, 15 games don’t necessarily mean 15 games played.
According to a report from The Athletic‘s Sam Amick, the Nets organization and players are increasingly frustrated with Simmons’ drive and health as he manages to find more excuses to stay off the court.
Ben Simmons Fizzles Out
“The coaching staff and players have been concerned about his availability and level of play, with some questioning his passion for the game,” Amick’s sources said.
This season Simmons has so far missed five games due to a minor knee injury and he puts up disappointing stat lines when he does appear on the court. In a 32-point blowout by the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, Simmons put up his season-high in points scored, tallying 11 meager points.
It was his first double-digit performance in 500 days.
Simmons has averaged 5.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists this season in 26.6 minutes of action.
Considering how badly he stiffed the Philadelphia 76ers by sitting out nearly two years due to repeated back issues and mental health episodes, it’s evident that excuses will always be a plan B for an apathetic player like Simmons.
Simmons spoke with The Athletic, saying he understood the skepticism around his availability but contended that his drive is unmatched.
“You’re obviously not gonna be happy when anybody’s out,” Simmons told the outlet.
“But for me, I’ve been dealing with the knee since the start of the season. It’s been swollen. I had PRP (injections). I had blood drained a couple times. So it’s not a made up thing, you know? It’s a real thing. …
“I get (the skepticism), but I think the one thing with me is that I’m a competitor. I want to win and play. So I’m gonna do what I can to get out there.”
Are the Nets really letting this guy play while Kyrie sits out? Talk about mismanagement.