There were multiple reasons for this: some were upset by his collapse in the 2020-21 playoffs while others were disappointed by his attitude regarding the Philadelphia 76ers, how he refused to suit up for the team, and how he has yet to play a game for the Nets since being traded.
All of this has clouded the judgment around Simmons.
The truth is that he’s actually a capable and strong basketball player.
In fact, the statistics back that up.
Active players who average 10/7/7 or better in the playoffs:
— LeBron James
— Russell Westbrook
— Luka Doncic
— Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/srrjKYRP86
— StatMuse (@statmuse) September 22, 2022
There are only four active NBA players who average 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists or better in the playoffs.
Now, this doesn’t mean that Simmons doesn’t have a long way to go to prove himself again to NBA fans.
But it does show that, regardless of the headlines and opinions, he is a superior basketball star who could make a huge difference for the Nets.
There are still many question marks lingering around Simmons and the Nets need some answers.
At one point, he was putting up 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists – can he do that again?
More importantly, will he be a team player with Brooklyn?
There is a lot of doubt about Simmons playing well with others, especially after how it all went down with the 76ers.
The good news for Simmons is that if he can do these things, the past will soon be forgotten and Simmons will be a valuable, beloved member of this Nets squad.
He has the skills and the potential, now he needs to capitalize on them.