Ben Simmons has been backed to explode into the form that made him a three-time All-Star by a Brooklyn teammate after years ruined by injuries and the impacts of his Sixers exit.
Simmons played 42 games last season, but none after February 16, battling a knee issue and then a back injury, both of which limited his impact while active.
Nets GM Sean Marks said earlier this month he wasn’t involved with 3-on-3 or 5-on-5 training drills yet though he was “in great physical shape and also mentally”.
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However Nets star Mikal Bridges believes Simmons is more than ready to return at an elite level.
“He’s in a good place, he f***s with all of us like we close,” Bridges said on LA Clippers star Paul George’s Podcast P.
“He’s the one talking in the chat all the time, I think he just feels like he has a f***ing lot of friends and we all f*** with him.”
Bridges and the rest of the Nets are fully supportive of Simmons, given how he has struggled mentally in recent years especially after the 2021 playoffs exit which saw him wilt at the basket.
“Just be there with him, man, that’s the biggest thing, support him,” Bridges said.
“Obviously we want him to be aggressive and stuff but, s**t, like, even if you not, or whatever, we still here for you, you still my man, you still my brother, I ain’t going to hate you, none of that.
“I just try to be there, like ‘listen bro, you struggle, you struggle, we here for you’.
“We want to be there for the process of you f***ing shoot five middies in a row, you miss all five? F*** it, shoot the sixth one.
“You build up confidence, and have confidence in him, especially if he works on it.
“That’s the biggest thing, is just he can be confident enough to fail and know we’re there for him.
“I’m confident, bro, sky’s the limit.”
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Meanwhile Clippers superstar Paul George backed Simmons as well.
“I’m a big fan of Ben Simmons, man. He still has that game, you don’t lose it,” George said.
“In his situation, bro, it’s so hard, because the media kills you if you don’t perform or live up to an expectation.
“If you not 100 per cent, it’s going to be exposed. It’s worth shining light on that particular situation that fans don’t understand.
“There’s been countless time where I’ve had stuff going on, fans don’t know, you try to give it a go and it’s like ‘I’m not 100’ and you get crushed by fans, media, they make up stories — if only they knew the real truth.
“Ben Simmons, we wish you (well) bro. We know you going to get through it, man. Just keep powering through it, we hope you get back healthy and safe and return back to elite form.”
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