The Brooklyn Nets were supposed to represent a chance at a new start for Ben Simmons.
They were a chance to leave Philadelphia in the past and get the monkey that has been plaguing him for so long off of his back.
But now that doesn’t appear like it will be the case.
Simmons joined the Nets a year ago in a trade involving former league MVP James Harden. While Harden is flourishing in Philadelphia and looks like he’ll make his 11th NBA All-Star team, Simmons is continuing to flounder.
The three-time All-Star is averaging career-lows in points (7.4), rebounds (6.5) and assists (6.4) per game. And while his defense is still at an elite level, he’s no longer drawing the assignments that he did in his time in Philly.
Additionally, injuries have plagued Simmons throughout his time in Brooklyn. He missed the entire 2021-22 season while recovering from a back issue. And he’s only played in 37 of the Nets’ 48 games this season for a bevvy of reasons.
Fans, media members, and even Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn seem to be growing tired of Simmons.
Doris Burke goes in on Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/SkC1nhi6a3
— Ted Buddwell 🏀🏈 (@TedBuddy8) January 26, 2023
Ben Simmons, man: pic.twitter.com/RDBrgReFP3
— Jack Kelly (@jack_kelly_313) January 27, 2023
Vaughn expressed his frustrations in can’t-miss fashion Thursday night.
Jacque Vaughn Rolls Eyes At Ben Simmons’ Claims Of Knee Soreness
Simmons was -16 in the box score and sat out the entire fourth quarter of Brooklyn’s 137-133 loss to the Sixers on Wednesday night.
The Nets returned home on Thursday to take on the lowly Detroit Pistons with a chance to bounce back. But both Simmons and Brooklyn struggled. The three-time All-Star went 0-3 for 0 points, seven assists and one rebound before leaving the game in the third quarter with what was deemed “knee soreness.”
Vaughn didn’t seem overly happy with the performance or Simmons leaving a game that Brooklyn went on to lose 130-122.
Jacque Vaughn rolls his eyes after talking about Ben Simmons "Knee Soreness" 🤣 #Netsworld pic.twitter.com/ZlztIdnvsE
— Jeri Tsai (@JeriTsaiNets) January 27, 2023
With superstar Kevin Durant out injured, this could have been an opportunity for Simmons to step into a larger role offensively. Instead, it once again appears the moment is far too big for him.