Lost in the madness surrounding the Brooklyn Nets offseason drama is the fact that Ben Simmons is expected to return to the court after missing the entire 2021-22 season. Simmons forced his way off the Philadelphia 76ers last season but ended up not playing for the Nets after dealing with a back injury. Simmons got surgery on his back this offseason, though, and is ready to go for the upcoming 2022-23 season.
Simmons reflects on his Game 7 mishap during his time with the 76ers
Simmons recently joined the Old Man and the Three podcast to discuss a wide variety of topics, one of which was his decision to pass up a wide-open layup in Game 7 of the 76ers series against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 playoffs. Simmons, rather than attempt to make a layup, fed the ball to Matisse Thybulle on the other side of the paint, who had two guys contest his layup and ultimately block him.
Simmons took a lot of the blame for the 76ers losing that series (even though he maybe shouldn't have) and knows he made a mistake on the play that has haunted 76er fans everywhere. Simmons said he thought he was making the right play giving the ball to Thybulle but immediately recognized that he should have just put the ball home himself. It was the first time Simmons had discussed the play that very well may have pushed him out of Philadelphia.
Simmons' take on his Game 7 mistake is interesting
For most of the past year or so, Simmons has largely stayed away from the media. He wouldn't talk to anyone when he was trying to force his way out of Philly, and even when he got to Brooklyn, he was pretty secretive regarding his back injury. That's why it was noteworthy to see Simmons discussing some of the topics that fans have been curious about for the past year on this podcast.
Simmons' struggles throughout Philadelphia's series against Atlanta were evident to anyone who watched the series. Simmons passing up a wide-open layup was a pretty accurate representation of his performance throughout the series. Simmons didn't have any issues with his play here, which indicated that he thought he made the right play.
Instead, he opens up here and admits that he probably should have taken the shot himself, which is what we all knew already. Simmons seems intent on turning over a new leaf with Brooklyn, and part of that involves coming to terms with his mistakes in Philadelphia and moving on from them.
With the new season on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how Simmons performs with the Nets after fading out of the NBA limelight this offseason. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back in the fold, there's a chance for Simmons to return with a bang this season and lead the Nets to some postseason success in the way he couldn't with the 76ers.