“I Owe It To The Fans And Everybody To Get Back To Where I Need To Be” | Ben Simmons Is Ready For His Comeback, But Does Anyone Care?

Brooklyn Nets lead ball handler Ben Simmons says he’s ready to get back to playing elite level basketball. His last two seasons have been injury plagued and he’s been mired in intense criticism from the larger basketball community. If he is indeed ready for a comeback, does anyone care?

For most sports fans, Simmons is persona non grata. Why?

Simmons Committed The Ultimate Sin

Because he committed the ultimate sin. He showed that he was scared, by refusing to go up for a dunk in a pivotal playoff game that would have sent the Philadelphia 76ers to the Eastern Conference championship two seasons ago, for fear he would get fouled and have to make free throws, which he is below average at.

Simmons subsequently talked about his poor mental health as a result of the vitriol he faced in Philadelphia both internally and externally. All the while, being paid the money on his five-year $177 million contract.

You see for the average sports fan, average American, that is something they can’t swallow or abide by.

I don’t include myself in that category. I take a far more empathetic, while still critical, view of Simmons. So I for one care if he is indeed ready to make a comeback, while still holding a healthy amount of skepticism.

If He Can Return To Form The Nets Will Be Good

“I’m super excited to be in Brooklyn,” Simmons told Tina Cervasio of FOX NY in a recent sit-down interview about his philanthropic foundation. “We got a great team. I think this year is going to be a completely different year (compared to) the last couple.

“Just playing with guys who are just easy to play with, that just have one goal and that’s to win. I don’t think guys have too many individual goals. I think the team is going to come first.

“I owe it to everybody, the fans and everybody, to get back to where I need to be. That’s what I did this summer — to get back. Get ready for a great year. I think it’s going to be exciting, we’re going to have a lot of fun. Get back to Brooklyn basketball.”

Simmons primarily owes it to himself to be the best version of himself if he truly has love and passion for the game. He then owes the Nets organization for trading for him and believing that he could revive his career. Then he owes his teammates in the locker room to do everything he possibly can to be healthy and help the team win.

For a roster with emerging All-Star caliber player Mikal Bridges, excellent 3-D wing Cameron Johnson, All-Defensive caliber big man Nic Claxton, and Spencer Dinwiddie, Simmons fits perfectly.

He’s switchable one through five, he’s an elite passer and playmaker and an elite defender. If he is healthy he’s devastating in transition, which this Nets team should be looking to get into as much as possible.

Given all Simmons’ shooting woes and failure in the aforementioned playoff game, it’s easy to forget he’s a three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defense, All-NBA, and led the league in steals. The dude is a monster, despite what fans think.

Back injuries are tricky and for him to be that 94th percentile in EPM guy that he was back in Philly, he needs to be right physically.

All the pictures and videos from his work in Miami this summer look promising. He looks fit, strong, and in great physical shape. But that’s all sizzle reel content.

The proof will be next week when camp officially opens, players have been doing 5-on-5 in their team’s cities since early September, and the first preseason game, and when the regular season begins in late October.

Until he strings together 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 games of elite play most fans won’t care. But if he does make it all the way back, that will change. As much as the average sports fan loves to vilify players, they love a redemption story just as much.

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