NBA insider: The Brooklyn Nets are already sick of Ben Simmons

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Brooklyn Nets are “exasperated” by the Ben Simmons injury saga after the star guard was ruled out of Game 4 vs. the Celtics, per Brian Windhorst.

By trading James Harden for Ben Simmons, the Nets have apparently traded one problem for another.

Simmons has yet to suit up for Brooklyn. He’s been missing because of injury or some other issue all season. Still, there was hope he could give the Nets a boost in the playoffs.

All signs pointed towards a Game 4 debut against the Celtics. Then on Sunday, the team ruled him out. And the basketball world collectively groaned.

The Nets are “exasperated” by Ben Simmons

The Nets may not be showing frustration publically, but according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, behind the scenes, there’s major frustration.

“The people involved here are exasperated by this saga, because that is what it is,” Windhorst said. “I got the feeling yesterday it was like waving a white flag.”

While it may look like Simmons simply doesn’t want to play in a 3-0 series that seems pretty doomed, Windhorst reported his absence is solely connected to his injured back. He woke up on Sunday with his back hurting and that was that.

“He just didn’t feel comfortable going and playing for the first time in 11 months with the way his back felt. That’s the bottom line,” Windhorst said. “It’s extraordinarily disappointing because he had genuine optimism for at least a week he was going to play in this game…It was another kneecapping moment in what’s been a season of kneecapping moments for Ben Simmons.”

It’s impossible to gauge what’s truly going on with Simmons’ back from the outside. Injuries to that part of the body are notoriously tricky and can linger in the most frustrating ways.

The problem for Simmons is his track record doesn’t exactly promote getting the benefit of the doubt. He hasn’t been known for putting it all on the line for his team. Could he play through the discomfort? Is it all mental? The mere existence of those questions is part of the frustration.

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