Ben Simmons didn’t make his Brooklyn Nets debut for a potentially season-ending Game 4 against the Boston Celtics. He also didn’t attend Monday evening’s playoff clash at the Barclays Center.
According to Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated, Simmons didn’t show up due to “ongoing back issues.”
As others have noted, Ben Simmons is not on Nets’ bench tonight. I’m told he’s not at the arena, because of his ongoing back issues.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) April 25, 2022
Despite an initial belief that Simmons would return for Game 4, the Nets ruled him out after he woke up with back soreness Sunday morning. The former Philadelphia 76ers star hurt it while ramping up for action after February’s blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to Philly.
Simmons was courtside during Saturday’s 109-103 loss. Nobody could miss the 25-year-old, whose colorful outfit stood out on Brooklyn’s bench and went viral.
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons and agent Rich Paul met with Nets general manager Sean Marks and other team representatives Monday to discuss the “mental and physical hurdles that need addressing” before he resumes playing basketball. The team reportedly realizes that “there’s more work to do.”
Facing a disappointing sweep in the opening round, the Nets trail the Celtics by a score of 58-50 at halftime despite 20 points from Kevin Durant.
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