The biggest blockbuster deal of this season’s trade deadline sent superstars James Harden and Ben Simmons in opposite directions.
The 6’11” point-forward will soon provide reinforcements to an ailing Brooklyn Nets team which has only won one of its last 12 games. Simmons said he does not have a tentative return date, but he is working toward playing again.
Simmons, a three time all-star and two time all-defensive first teamer, has not played a game this season. He had been away from members of the 76ers organization after telling the team he was not mentally ready to play.
Change of Scenery
Following news of the trade breaking, former teammate Joel Embiid set the internet off with an apparent jab at Simmons.
When asked about the viral tweet, Embiid said he posted the popular internet meme because he thought its subject was well-dressed.
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 10, 2022
Simmons never responded, but he expressed optimism for his future with the Nets, lauding the welcome he has received in Brooklyn.
“It’s been a very positive experience just being here so far,” he said. “I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”
Nets star Kevin Durant has not played since Jan. 15, and the team has struggled without him. Brooklyn’s record is 3-12 since the forward suffered an MCL sprain during the Nets’ win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Durant has had an impressive year, averaging 29.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists. His points per game average would be the four time scoring champion’s highest since 2013.
The Nets’ defensive rating is 19th in the NBA, with the team giving up 111 points per 100 possessions. Simmons said he hopes to affect the team positively on that side of the ball.
Following a win over the Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn will visit the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden Wednesday. While the team still awaits Durant’s return and Simmons’ debut, it will hope to build on its most recent victory.