The world of sports can be ruthless. Players can get their dream move only to find themselves sidelined, be that a result of injury, lack of form or interpersonal issues with management teams. Australian NBA star Ben Simmons has found himself in this exact situation. Will the highly-rated player be able to play more than 50 games this year? Read on to find out.
Who is Ben Simmons?
Ben Simmons is an Australian basketball player who currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. After an impressive college career, which saw him named Freshman of the Year, Simmons made his professional debut in 2016, when he was selected as the number one overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. This was only the third time in over a decade that a player from Melbourne was selected as a number one overall pick, a testament to how highly regarded Simmons was.
He quickly established himself as an important player for the 76ers, lauded for his positioning and fantastic passing. In his debut season, he was named in the All-Las Vegas Summer League First Team.
However, in September 2016 Simmons suffered an injury, fracturing a bone in his foot. After complications with the healing process, he was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the season.
Simmons arrived as one of the NBA’s most exciting players, and he certainly lived up to this reputation during his early time with the 76ers. In 2019, he received an All-Star selection, becoming the first Australian to do so.
However, over the next two years, Simmons’ relationship with the 76ers soured. He repeatedly missed training sessions and meetings and was fined millions as a result. As things stand, Simmons is the most fined player in the history of the NBA.
While Simmons maintained much of these absences were due to ongoing mental health issues, the patience of the 76ers management team soon wore thin, and they meted out regular financial penalties for his apparent lack of discipline and failure to adhere to the rules.
Move to the Brooklyn Nets
The world of basketball moves fast. Players come and go and switch teams all the time. This constant movement keeps things interesting and is why so many people closely follow NBA odds on sports betting sites, blogs and news channels.
In February 2022, Simmons moved from the 76ers to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a trade. However, just one month later he suffered a herniated disk in his back. He didn’t make his debut for the Nets until October 2022, bagging four points and five assists in a defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans.
He played well for the next few months, before again being sidelined for injury, this time for issues with his knee. Simmons’ injury woes went from bad to worse; an MRI scan in March 2023 revealed that he had inflammation and nerve problems in his back, and he was ruled out for the rest of the season.
What Does the Future Hold for Simmons?
Just a few short years ago Simmons was regarded as one of the NBA’s most exciting prospects. However, sport moves fast, especially basketball, and it wasn’t long before it became apparent that Simmons was on a decline.
In fairness, the Australian’s injury woes are not his fault, but he hasn’t helped himself with repeated disciplinary issues. It’s unlikely Simmons will play more than 50 games this year, as his back injury will see him out for some time. Will we see a return of the old Simmons? Only time will tell.
Ben Simmons’ fall from grace has been remarkable. For many, the signs were there from the beginning. While fans will hope to see a return of the Simmons of old, many think his time has already passed.