The Brooklyn Nets face a must-win Game 4 at home against the Boston Celtics. Ben Simmons will once again not be playing.
Simmons has missed all season, yet he’s still collecting game checks from the Nets (and previously the 76ers) related to a mysterious sequence of injuries and his mental health.
While we here at FanSided take mental health very seriously, it’s fair to wonder at this point if Simmons’ issues are fixable. The former All-Star has taken the entire season off, and even after heading to a new situation to clear his head, failed to make much of a difference in Brooklyn.
Simmons made it clear he was never playing for Philly again last offseason. Okay, fair enough. Daryl Morey dealt Simmons at the deadline to the Nets in a trade package for James Harden. The deal worked out just fine for the 76ers, but the Nets have yet to see dividends from Simmons, who at his best is an elite defender at the wing and guard positions.
Stephen A Smith: Ben Simmons is a quitter
SAS called Simmons a quitter, and discussed how pathetic he’s looked throughout this entire process. The Nets aren’t calling upon the LSU product to shoot — a clear weakness in his game — or score at all for that matter. They understand he has matters to work through in that department.
However, what the Nets do need is help on the defensive end of the floor. With a still-hobbled Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — who himself has never been an elite defender to say the least — Simmons could make a world of difference in keeping those two out of foul trouble.
Instead, he woke up with a mysterious back injury a day prior to Game 4, despite Monday night being his target date all along.
It’s suspicious. And while I applaud Simmons for getting that generational wealth while on the mend, his reputation may never rebound from this.