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Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets, media day, when will he play, back injury, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Steve Nash, latest, updates

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Ben Simmons insists he physically feels “great” and fully intends on playing in Brooklyn’s opening games as the superstar spoke at the Nets’ media day.

The Aussie also touched on the “incredible” chemistry already brewing between himself, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as the 2022/23 NBA season nears.

Simmons joined the Nets in February last year but is yet to take to the court for his new team as a lack of fitness and a serious back injury prevented him from any NBA minutes.

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However, the 26-year-old has been working overtime to get himself fit and ready for the new season.

“Physically, I feel great,” Simmons said.

And when quizzed if he’ll be good to go for the Nets’ season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 20 (AEST), he replied: “That’s the plan, that’s the goal.”

Simmons hasn’t just worked to improve his physical fitness either, as the star has also placed importance on his mental wellness too.

“I’ve been working on myself this past year to get back on the floor and play at a high level,” Simmons said.

“I deserve to take this opportunity by the horns and get back on the floor. I’m excited to team up with these guys and coaches and I’m looking forward to it.”


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With a healthy Simmons on court, Nets fans and the wider basketball community are keen to see how he performs alongside fellow superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

The former Philadelphia star gave a hint as to what’s to come, revealing the trio have “been playing all week” ahead of training camp.

When pressed on how they all look when playing together, Simmons replied: “Oh, incredible.”

It’s somewhat of a lucky break for Simmons that he will get the opportunity to play alongside Irving and Durant this year.

Had things gone a different way in the off-season, Simmons wouldn’t have got the chance to call them teammates.

Durant requested a trade and Irving could have moved on, but thankfully for the Australian’s sake, neither scenario transpired.

Simmonds admitted he wasn’t too concerned with the off-season events because he had no direct influence on the proceedings, but said it was a “blessing” to now play with the star duo.

“Obviously someone asked for a trade … different things were going on,” Simmons said.

Ben Simmons spoke at the Brooklyn Nets’ media day. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons spoke at the Brooklyn Nets’ media day. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I don’t worry about that stuff because I can’t control it. Obviously it’s a blessing to be able to play with a lot of talented players but I just focus on what I can contribute to this team and that moment it’s getting healthy.”

It’s not just Simmons who’s looking forward to playing with his teammates, as Irving is equally excited at performing alongside the Aussie.

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“It’s not too often that you get a chance to see a 6ft 10” guy do the things he does,” Irving said.

“We can talk about the intangibles, we can talk about all the strengths, but what I’ve been able to observe from afar as a competitor for the past few years but now as a teammate, is his resolve and his resiliency.

“He wants it, whatever greatness looks like to him, he wants it. When you’re around other great people and you’re in a great environment where you can be supported when you’re going through your ups and downs, I think that can help ease the journey.

“That’s ultimately what I would like to play within this position and this role on our team, is being a level of guidance for him and being able to protect him when needed but knowing he’s a big boy, he can handle it.

“He doesn’t shy away from the moment and I like that.”

Nets coach Steve Nash is another figure in the organisation who can’t wait to see Simmons in action.

“It’s a lot of fun to see Ben on the basketball court,” Nash said.

“He’s such a unique player, a unique talent.”


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