Ben Simmons makes Nets debut after long wait

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Ben Simmons makes long awaited debut with new team Brooklyn Nets after been out for months.

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons made his debut with his new team on Monday after he has been away from the game for a long time.

After he was traded from of Philadelphia while citing mental health concerns and then dealing with offseason back surgery, the guard stated that he felt “amazing” while scoring six points, making five assists and grabbing four rebounds over 19 minutes in the Nets 127-108 preseason loss to the 76ers.

“I’m grateful just to be able to step on that floor,” Simmons said. “Step on an NBA floor again. I had a lot of fun out there.”

Before the game against the 76ers on Monday, the last time Simmons in an NBA game was June 2021 when the Sixers lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Atlanta Hawks.

“That’s the one thing, I thought I was going to be nervous,” Simmons said. “But I wasn’t nervous. I was excited.”

Simmons claims playing against some of his old Sixers teammates felt like a normal thing for him.

Nets coach Steve Nash knows the experience that Simmons, Durant and Irving are getting while playing together in the preseason is key.

“I was pleased overall,” Nash said. “I think it’s all so new. We got to go through this. Guys need time together.

“Ben’s playing with a totally different unit than he has in the past, different style. … It’s going to be ugly at times, but I thought as the half wore on you definitely started to see glimpses of the potential.

“The way the ball moved. The way they were hounding the basketball defensively. I thought Ben looked pretty good overall and grew into the game through the half.”

Simmons seemed both relieved and noticeably happy after the game that he was finally able to play with his new Nets teammates. He believes better days are ahead for both him and his new team.

“It was fun messing up because I know how good we can be,” Simmons said. “And seeing just different looks and opportunities there with Kevin and Ky and Joe [Harris].

“Seeing where they want the ball and just how things are going to work and flow. But the only way you learn is to make mistakes so I had a few out there tonight and I can go back and watch film and say I know what I did wrong and how to fix that. So it’s all a learning process for me so it’s good.”




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