Brooklyn Nets fans don’t have to worry about Ben Simmons being a liability for the team when the playoffs begin.
“Ben will not be joining us the rest of the year and through the playoffs,” Vaughn revealed after practice. “After consulting with our doctors, multiple specialists, he’s just going to begin a rehab program. Our doctors and the specialists feel and think that he’ll have a full recovery, so that starts now.”
The fragile hooper has not hit the court for the Nets since the team’s final game before the All-Star break because of a nerve issue in his back. Simmons has been beset with knee and back issues, but Vaughn says he does not expect the point guard to get surgery for this latest injury.
“That is not in sight,” Vaughn said. “That’s the recommendation right now.”
Before making his Nets debut following a trade that saw the Brooklyn franchise swap James Harden for him, Simmons underwent back surgery last summer.
When he did return, he was a mere shell of his former self, seeing a steep decline in his performance from his All-Star days with the Sixers.
During the small sample size with the Nets, Simmons posted career lows in minutes (26.3), points (6.9), rebounds (6.3), assists (6.1), and free throw percentage (43.9).
Jack Vaughn Still Believes In Ben Simmons
Still, his coach remains hopeful the 26-year-old professional hooper can return to his old form.
“That’s our goal,” Vaughn said. “And overall, you just think about, he’s 6-10, athletic, what he can do and bring to our team, how he can help our group on both ends of the floor. We want to be involved in that. We want to see that. I want to coach Ben, and I want to be able to push Ben to get back to all-defensive team and impact our team on both ends of the floor. So that’s definitely the goal going forward.”
The Nets Will Continue To Support Him & Remain Hopeful He Can Return Next Season
According to general manager Sean Marks, the Nets will also continue to support Simmons.
“Same thing we’ve done in the past is support him,” Marks told ESPN. “This is a young man that has been through a very traumatic and pretty arduous last couple years here. And this is not news that he wants to hear. He didn’t want specialists telling him, ‘Hey look, here’s the best thing for you.’ The good news, they were in unison in their plan for a full recovery. I worked hard with these doctors, all the different specialists as well as Bernie Lee, his new agent, to come up with a plan that’s hopefully going to get him back, and back to being the Ben we’ve all seen.”
Marks continues, “I do feel for him because I know he wants to be out here. I know he wants to be part of this team. Nobody likes being told, ‘You didn’t amount to what you should have, and it shouldn’t be this, you should have done this, and so forth’ I hope he uses all of this as whatever you want to call it, chalkboard fodder for motivation, and attack [his rehab]. But I think he would fit with these guys we’ve got, and he fits for multiple reasons. So we hope that he’s back — and that he’s healthy, ready to go.”
Twitter Believes It’s A Wrap For Ben Simmon’s Career
While Simmon’s current team still believes in him, NBA Twitter is saying it’s a wrap for N0.10, and he will probably end up playing professional basketball in China.
Damn, you all are ruthless.
You can see more reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Jim McIsaac / Getty
Nets Shutting Down Ben Simmons For Rest of Season, NBA Twitter Already Sending Him To China was originally published on hiphopwired.com