Former 76er Ben Simmons to make Nets debut as an onlooker in Philadelphia

Welcome home, Ben.

Welcome house, Ben.
Picture: Getty Photographs

Depend me amongst those that get pleasure from a very good comfortable opening. You get to take a look at the restaurant area, attempt a newly created menu, and decide the decor whereas waitworkers fumble over pronunciations and the again of the home yell at one another over ticket occasions. There are not any actual penalties as a result of nothing is at stake; it’s a purely experimental train.

That’s basically what the Nets are doing with Ben Simmons, as he’ll sit on the bench when Brooklyn visits Philadelphia on Thursday, per ESPN. The Sixers followers inside earshot of Simmons will present him with a style of the on-court reception he’ll obtain when he lastly sees taking part in time in his return from damage and the abyss of Daryl Morey’s battle chest.

And on the tasting menu this week for Simmons is… Simmons. It’ll be a uncooked preparation, with the Philly devoted showcasing their knife expertise to cube up any semblance of confidence he regained since getting skewered after the playoffs final yr. Then, to prime it off, add a pinch of East Coast saltiness and a squeeze of over-the-line juice to make these flavorful taunts actually pop.

In all seriousness, one of the best ways to get this over with is to only get it over with. Ideally, by merely returning to the scene of his private implosion, Simmons will be capable to course of the falling out after which give attention to basketball once more.

Brooklyn head coach and purveyor of chill Steve Nash is also on board with the transfer.

“It’s nice,” Nash advised ESPN. “He’s on our group, he must be together with his teammates and get the entire Philly factor out of the best way slightly bit. Possibly it by no means goes away, however the first time it’s at all times good to sort of take care of it and transfer on.”

Transferring on is precisely what NBA followers need out of Simmons. He’s not Michael Jordan taking part in baseball. He hasn’t earned the correct to be dissected, mentioned, and debated advert nauseam. Discuss buying and selling him has been go-to filler for podcasts and SportsCenter for therefore lengthy that you just’d assume he’s the important ingredient to unlocking a group’s title aspirations, and never a man who’s frightened to shoot.

I’m not going to query the validity of his psychological sickness as a result of that’s extra fucked up than utilizing one as an excuse to maintain getting paid. It’s evident he cares deeply about what individuals consider him. If he didn’t, he’d chuck 3s with the identical disregard Giannis Antetokuonmpo has when he hoists from deep fairly than carefully curate made jumpers from an open gym run.

Shit, as I’m considering this by way of, possibly Simmons isn’t within the most secure headspace to take a seat courtroom aspect whereas sports activities’ meanest fanbase — outdoors of soccer followers who chant racial epithets and kill one another — lobs insult after insult after insult. Russell Westbrook can’t even take Lakers’ fans calling him “Westbrick,” and he appears to not give a fuck what anyone thinks.

Nonetheless, so long as the objects being lobbed at Simmons are insults and never batteries, I’m all for it. I don’t know the way he’s getting alongside together with his new teammates, however one would hope they’ll have his again as a result of it’s going to be viscous.

“I don’t assume he’s naive [enough] to assume he’s not going to get some boos,” Nash added about Simmons. “I hope he enjoys it. It’s part of the sport I miss.”

You already know what a part of the sport I miss? The half the place basketball gamers… play basketball.

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