Ben Simmons reportedly did not like it when his Brooklyn Nets teammates asked him if he planned on playing during the team’s first-round exit against the Boston Celtics.
“They’re having a team chat before Game 4, thinking he’s going to play against the Celtics, and from what I’m told, Ben just left the chat,” Ric Bucher told Colin Cowherd on FS1’s The Herd last week (8:30 mark). “They asked him, ‘Are you going to play?’ Ben left the chat. Like he didn’t even answer the question. Just left the chat.”
The questions surrounding Simmons have been getting louder ever since longtime Philadelphia 76ers point guard requested a trade from the team last summer and then got thrown out of practice for not particiapting with the team.
Simmons cited mental health issues as the reason for his absence. Things only got worse as he would eventually be traded to the Nets in the deal that sent James Harden back to Philadelphia.
But Simmons never played for Brooklyn either, reportedly injuring his back while working on his conditioning over the winter.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported in May, “Simmons had planned to return for Game 4 of the Nets’ Eastern Conference first-round series against the Celtics, but a week-plus of pain-free days ended with pain soreness on the eve of Brooklyn’s elimination.” Simmons ultimately had a microdiscectomy surgery to “address pain located in a herniated disk in his lower back,” per Woj.
When healthy, Simmons was one of the best and most versatile perimeter defenders in the NBA. When he may make his way back to the court is anyone’s guess.