The Brooklyn Nets acquired Ben Simmons at the close last February as part of James Harden’s blockbuster trade. Harden requested to be traded from the Nets after some drama surrounding Kyrie Irving and didn’t believe Brooklyn was capable of winning. That sent Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers and Simmons to Brooklyn.
After being traded, Simmons was unable to make the pitch for the Nets after battling a lingering back injury and mental block, but after a summer of rehab, the star guard is expected to make his Nets debut to make up for that start next season.
The point guard recently joined JJ Redick on his Old Man and the Three podcast and one of the topics of conversation was the narration of his not being able to shoot and how that is affecting him.
“I think for a while it just repeated itself,” Simmons said. “For example, get off my case. I do other things too. I protect the best players. That’s also one of the things I feel people don’t respect enough for what I’m bringing to court. Like there’s a lot of shit I bring to court. For me I just want to win and people don’t understand that my goal is just to win. I’m not going out there; I’m not trying to have that many points, you know, whatever it is. My goal is to win, so I try to do everything in my power to make the right plays and the right reads to help my team win. But that’s certainly frustrating because it’s also one of my weaknesses, so is it like I get mad at people who say I’m not good at something? “Okay, yeah, cool. I’ll practice and get better.’ It is what it is.”
The Aussie star noted he does so much more to compensate for his shooting weakness and his priority is always winning games. Redick made sure that while Simmons doesn’t make three-pointers, he does make more three-pointers for his teammates than any other player.
Simmons also shared that while the shooter tale can get old, it only comes about because people expect a high level of play from him, which is a compliment.
“If I was a shitty guy and people didn’t care, people wouldn’t mention my name. Which is also for me; It’s like I’m proud of who I am because people expect a high level of basketball from me, which I love. Because I’d rather be who I am than not on the damn place,” Simmons continued.
When asked by Redick if he would be shooting more three-pointers for the nets after returning from injury, the All-Star was quick to respond and confirmed that he would be shooting from behind the bow.
“Yeah, I have to,” Simmons said, laughing about shooting three pointers.
Simmons is expected to find great success in this Nets lineup. He brings a unique versatility to the Nets due to his elite defense, which goes hand in hand with his playmaking ability, which he will create as a point forward-type role.
“On paper the answer is Brooklyn, but the odds are we’ll see Ben Simmons play most minutes in the middle. The networks have too Nick Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe in a backup role.” Mark wrote.