We’re beginning to hear more stories of Ben Simmons’ bizarre time with the Nets last season.
During the playoffs, the Nets were down 3-0 against the Celtics, and many Nets players were disappointed Simmons hadn’t played in the series even though he had been cleared to play.
Everyone around the Nets organization had been given the impression that Simmons had zeroed in on Monday’s Game 4 as his debut date, and the franchise certainly was left searching for answers because of his inability to step on the floor in Brooklyn and what transpired in the first round.
Sunday’s events triggered frustration and disheartenment throughout the organization, multiple sources said. The fallout of Simmons being ruled out Sunday led to a meeting among franchise officials, Simmons and his agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, on Monday in Brooklyn. According to sources, Simmons told those in the room that a mental block exists for him, dating in part to last summer’s postseason, which is creating stress that could serve as a trigger point for his back issues. He added that he does want to play basketball and play for the Nets as he works on solutions in regard to his well-being.
FS1’s Rich Bucher claims Simmons left the team’s group chat when asked to play during game 4.
“They’re having a team chat before Game 4, thinking he’s going to play against the Boston Celtics,” NBA insider Ric Bucher said during a recent television appearance. “From what I’m told, Ben just left the chat. They asked him, ‘Are you going to play?’ Ben left the chat. Like he didn’t even answer the question, just left the chat. And K.D. (Kevin Durant) is like, ‘This is what I signed up for? This is who I’m playing with?’”
Following a Game 3 loss vs Boston, the Nets players asked Ben Simmons in a group chat if he was ready to play in Game 4. Ben Simmons did not answer the question and proceeded to leave the chat, per @RicBucher on @TheHerd.
"KD was like 'This is who I'm playing with?!" 🍿 pic.twitter.com/c5gGH7zUT1
— Unbiased NBA Fan (@nonbiasednbafan) August 7, 2022
Fans had jokes about Simmons’ expense.
— ADsEra (@Real_AD_BURNER) August 8, 2022
Anyone defending Ben Simmons promoted and applauds being a loser and a quitter https://t.co/c24MVIvvon
— JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) August 8, 2022
— AVG (@Agioia14) August 8, 2022