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Ben Simmons Makes Promise to Nets

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) brings the ball up court in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center.

Ben Simmons is committed to the Brooklyn Nets. Following a 111-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, Simmons stated, “I’m gonna give this team everything I got, regardless of how I feel.”

Ben Simmons Makes Promise to Nets

Ben Simmons Dilemma

Once the #1 pick in the 2016 NBA draft, Simmons has failed to re-establish himself as one of the league’s premier players. Injuries have played a major part in the 27 year-old’s fall from grace.

Simmons only missed only four regular season games in his first two seasons in the NBA. Since 2019-20, Simmons has gone on to miss a staggering 204 regular season games, including the entire 2022-23 season.

Simmons has already missed 42 games this year, battling numerous back and leg injuries. When he has played, his stats have not been convincing. Simmons is averaging 6.1 points, 5.7 assists, and 7.9 rebounds in 23.9 minutes per game. His health issues are a major obstacle in a potential return to form, yet Simmons seemed optimistic in last night’s post-game presser.

Brooklyn Nets Support Simmons

However, numerous voices in the organization have vocalized their support for Simmons, reiterating his importance to the Nets’ future. When asked in the summer about Simmons’ potential impact on the team, general manager Sean Marks expressed high hopes.

“You know, a healthy Ben is an all-Star max level guy. I think he could completely change the complexion of our team and can make us a really exciting group, especially defensively.

Brooklyn Nets in 2023-24

The Nets have been dominating the headlines as of late, following the firing of head coach of Jacque Vaughn. Assistant coach Kevin Ollie has taken over interim head coaching duties, and is expected to guide the team to the play-in.

Brooklyn is 22-35, sitting in 11th place in the East. They are three games back of the final play-in spot, which currently belongs to the Atlanta Hawks.

Ben Simmons’ Career

Simmons’ injury history is well-documented and heavily scrutinized. Drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons enjoyed early success in the NBA. He put up 15.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game in his rookie season, as well as winning the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year award. The addition of Simmons helped lead the 76ers to their first playoff series since 2011-12.

The following campaign saw Simmons named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team. That marked the first time an Australian player received an All-Star selection. Philadelphia’s run at the title that year was cut short in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Raptors, thanks to Kawhi Leonard‘s infamous game-winning shot. Despite this, the future was bright in Philadelphia, with a young duo of superstars in Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Although Simmons was named to the All-NBA Third Team and the NBA All-Defensive First Team, 202o-21 marked the first of many injury-riddled seasons for the Australian star. The 76ers were considered a title favorite, but fell short once again, losing to the Hawks in the second round.

Much of the blame from the fanbase, media, and even his own team, was directed at Simmons. He struggled in that series, averaging 9.9 points, while shooting 33 percent from the free-throw line. He never played another game for Philadelphia, and was eventually traded to Brooklyn in February of 2022.

Brooklyn Nets Need More

Given that Simmons is set to earn over $40 million next season, Nets fans will want to see more from the talented, yet fragile point guard.

His public reassurances are an encouraging sign, but he will have to remain healthy for an extended period of time if the Nets are to make a run to the playoffs.

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