Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets, press conference, quotes, break the silence, trade, video, highlights
Newly acquired Ben Simmons isn’t sure when he’ll be able to dress for the Nets, but the three-time All-Star said he was “super excited” to land in Brooklyn after experiencing what he described as “dark times”. at the end of his tenure with the 76ers.
Simmons made his first public comments on Tuesday since the tumultuous conclusion of his final season in Philadelphia last June – which was followed by a trade request and a leave for the entirety of this season, in part to take care of his mental health.
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“I’ve had some dark times over the past six months and I’m just happy to be in this situation with this team and this organization,” Simmons said during a press conference at the Nets’ training facility. .
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“People are going to say what they want. They’ve said it for the last six months and I haven’t commented and that’s what it is. People will always have their own opinions.
“But I think the way everyone has welcomed me here has been great. It’s been a very positive experience, just being here so far. And I look forward to what’s to come. »
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Simmons, who was flanked on a podium between Nets general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash, added that he was “definitely” excited for a fresh start.
He also joked ‘we’ll be here all day’ if he answered all the criticism he faced until the blockbuster trade that sent him to Brooklyn for disgruntled All-Star guard James. Harden.
“I think I didn’t get much sleep the first few days, but overall it’s been a great experience so far,” Simmons, 25, said.
“The organization welcomed me as their own and whatever I needed, they were very supportive which was great, as were the players. Super excited to get out there and play.
The 6-11 point guard wouldn’t project a schedule for his Nets debut, although he said ‘I hope so’ when asked if he expected to play long before a potential comeback in Philadelphia on March 10.
“I don’t have an appointment yet. But I’m working to get back to the ground…I’m starting to ramp up,” Simmons said.
He added that he had spoken with Sixers owner Josh Harris, general manager Elton Brand, coach Doc Rivers and teammates such as Tobias Harris since the trade, but notably acknowledged that he had not spoke to All-Star center Joel Embiid, who had criticized him publicly since the end of last season.
“For me, it was just to mentally make sure I was right to go out and play. So that’s something I had to deal with. And it wasn’t about the fans or the coaches. or comments from anyone; it was just a personal thing for me,” Simmons said.
“It was a bunch of things that I was dealing with as a person in my personal life that I don’t really want to delve into.
“But I’m here now. So it’s a blessing to be in an organization like this. And I just can’t wait to get back on the pitch and do something good here.
With Kevin Durant currently sidelined with a knee injury and Kyrie Irving only eligible for the majority of road games due to his unvaccinated status against COVID-19, the Nets had lost 11 straight games before winning Monday night against Sacramento. at the Barclays Center.
Simmons sat on the bench, while the two players acquired with him as part of the blockbuster deal – shot-stopper Seth Curry and big man Andre Drummond – entered the starting lineup on their debuts with the Nets.
“I’m thrilled to be on the court with these guys, incredible team, incredible talent, so I’m super excited,” Simmons said when asked about possibly playing alongside Durant and Irving.
“I think it’s going to be scary. To have these guys running alongside me, multiple different weapons on the ground, I think at the pace we want to play, it’s going to be unreal.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished with permission.