NBA

Ex-NBA player claims Ben Simmons will never return to All-Star form: ‘That ship has sailed’

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Despite losing their two first games of the 2023/24 NBA season, the Nets hope to see Ben Simmons return to his All-Star level throughout the year. Even though many believe he’s grown in confidence since last season, former player Chandler Parsons turned down the hype surrounding his potential comeback, ruling out any chance of him becoming what he once was. 

Not only has the 27-year-old become Brooklyn‘s primary ball handler once again, he’s indulged himself back into his team’s offense and is back to showing no hesitation when attacking the rim.

The ex-Dallas and Memphis player, now a prominent NBA analyst, still believes it’s too early to get excited over him, as he still has lots to prove. “I’d love to see him out there playing. I just don’t understand where’s that aggressiveness, where’s that versatility?” he asked on air.

“That’s the power of social media, I almost started television seeing these highlights and videos thinking, ‘Oh sh*t, he’s back’, then the game starts and he gets timid. He’s 6”10, he has that frame that can go coast-to-coast, he has great vision dropping dimes,” Parsons guaranteed that the comeback feel around the Aussie is just a mirage.

The basketball broadcaster stills sees the same Simmons as last season. “He plays scared, I don’t know what happened and how he got here, the fact he’s playing and he’s healthy, that’s a good start, the idea that he will turn into this 20 (points) and 10 (assists) All-Star is not possible,” he said.

Chandler also knows how it feels to struggle your entire NBA career with injuries, and was also called out for never being the same after recovering. The former athlete believes Ben still shows lack of drive when leading the Nets.

“He was a heck of a player and he’s athletic, he’s got a strong build, he’s got great vision, he has all the tools physically to be a successful player in this league,” Parsons said back in March 2023. “I’ve seen flashes, he’ll go grab that rebound go coast-to-coast and finish… it’s a strong mental block in my opinion where he just can’t overcome it.”

The Brooklyn guard has been averaging 27.5 minutes per game thus far, and has shown a definite improvement since the last campaign, hoping to live up to the hype that took him to become the 2016 NBA Draft’s first pick.

Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett disagrees with Parsons, as he believes that the Australian is really starting to look ‘like the old Ben Simmons’

In his first two games of the season, the 27-year-old is delivering averages of 7 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists to go along with a steal and a block per contest. NBA legend Kevin Garnett believes he’s back to his best.

“You look great out there. You look like the old Ben Simmons. And he looks motivated; he looks very much into it,” the Minnesota icon expressed on his show. “Keep going, Ben. Real s**t, man. You know you have hurdles in this s**t, and you figure it out. I’m glad you figured it out. Keep going, salute to you.”

As the Australian is currently on the backend of his five-year, $177 million deal, Parsons assured that he he won’t be offered another major contract in his career and will probably stay on minimum salary deals.

“We almost have to stop talking about it, we have to take him for what he is, I think eventually it’s going to lead to a (contract) buyout and he’s most likely (going to be) a minimum player for the rest of his career. Until he magically shows us he can play and produce at a high level, it’s really crazy how big of a turn this is taking on a guy,” Chandler said.