During the playoffs Ben Simmons was asked by his Brooklyn Nets teammates to play against the Boston Celtics in the team’s group chat and he ended up leaving the chat instead, according to reports.
Ric Bucher, an NBA analyst on Fox Sports says he was told that before Brooklyn’s decisive game 4 against the Boston Celtics in last season’s playoffs, Ben Simmons was asked by his teammates in a team group chat to suit up and play.
Instead of responding to his teammates, Bucher claims Simmons just left the chat and hung the Nets out to dry as they were swept 4-0 by the Boston Celtics which has led to the collapse of the team including Kevin Durant’s trade demand.
Ric Bucher says that after game 3 against the Celtics last year, Nets players text Ben Simmons in a group chat asking if he’d be ready to play in game 4
According to Bucher, not only did Ben Simmons not respond, he left the chat
LMAO what on earth https://t.co/fHIPoBYgQF
— Josh Reynolds (@JoshReynolds24) August 8, 2022
Simmons was at the center of the NBA’s biggest holdout to date and is the most fined player in league history, after refusing to play for the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2021-22 season.
The 26-year-old clashed with Joel Embiid during his time in Pennsylvania which led to the latter publicly criticising Simmons in the media, stating that the holdout and trade demands were ‘disrespectful’ to the franchise.
Despite returning to a single practice session with the team, Simmons was thrown out by head coach Doc Rivers after refusing to take place in a drill and received a one-game suspension.
The three-time All-Star cited mental health issues as the reason for his absence and was later traded to the Brooklyn Nets alongside Seth Curry and Andre Drummond in a package which sent James Harden to Philadelphia.
It was expected that Simmons would make his Nets debut during the playoffs in the first round against Boston and reports began to surface that he planned to play in game 4, however a herniated disk in his back prevented him from stepping onto the court.
The Australian underwent back surgery in early May and according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Nets are incredibly high on Simmons’ return to play in the 2022-23 season.
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