Ben Simmons on Nets Group-Chat Rumor: ‘People Make Anything Up’ | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons slammed a rumor of controversy in the Nets’ group chat on Thursday.

Last month, FS1’s Ric Bucher (h/t Yahoo Sports’ Nick Schwartz) reported that Simmons left the team group chat when asked by his teammates if he would play in Game 4 of the Nets’ first round playoff series against the Boston Celtics would play.

Simmons was questioned about the report during an appearance The old man and the three with former NBA guard JJ Redick, and he insisted it wasn’t true (from 45:44):

“That’s what I hate about the internet. Damn people just make everything up and it just gets pushed too far,” Simmons said. “But no, I didn’t leave the group chat. … I actually texted Patty [Mills] about it, and I was like, ‘Yo, did I leave a group chat?’ I was so confused and he said, ‘Bro, no one has said anything on the group chat for a month. When we got to the playoffs, nobody was talking in the group chat.”

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The Nets acquired Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers before last season’s trade close as part of a package for All-Star guard James Harden.

Simmons didn’t play for the Sixers at all last season due to a combination of factors, including a back injury and mental health issues. The Nets had hoped he would make his season debut commercially after arriving in Brooklyn, but he couldn’t shake the back condition and ended up missing the entire season, including the playoffs.

The Nets were disappointingly swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics, marking the second straight season they didn’t make it past the second round despite a core of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

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Trade rumors engulfed the nets this season and there was an expectation that both Durant and Irving might be gone, but now all signs point to the team staying together for at least another season.

Simmons underwent back surgery in May and all indications are that he should be ready for the start of the 2022-23 season next month, giving the Nets one of the most talented starting lineups in the NBA.

Durant and Irving are future Hall of Famers with championships on their resumes, while Simmons is one of the best defensive players in the league when healthy.

26-year-old Simmons was picked overall by the Sixers in the 2016 NBA draft, and although he missed his rookie season through injury, he played well the following season and then earned three straight All-Star nods .

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He also finished second in the 2021 NBA Defensive Player of the Year poll, but was made the scapegoat for the 76ers’ playoff misses that season due to struggling from the free throw line and being timid as a shooter off the field.

Simmons has his warts as a player, shooting just 59.7 percent of his career from the free throw line and making 14.7 percent of his three-pointers with 0.1 attempted three-pointers per game.

However, his career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals are solid, and he should be a huge asset for the Nets next season.

Simmons laughed at the group chat report and appears to be heading into the 2022-23 campaign on a positive note, which bodes well for the Nets’ chances of being Eastern Conference contenders.

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