Ben Simmons has yet to play a game for the Brooklyn Nets since arriving at the trade deadline earlier this year, but the team desperately needed him on the floor to try to turn the tide of a first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics in April.
At the time, Simmons’ status was shrouded in mystery, and while Simmons had returned to practice and was cleared for contact, he never did suit up with his teammates, and wasn’t even at courtside for the decisive Game 4.
Simmons later underwent offseason surgery to address a herniated disc in his back, and indicated that he felt he was treated unfairly in the media by analysts criticizing him for not playing. The fact that Simmons had surgery, however, does not mean he could not have played, even sparingly – and his own teammates were reportedly hopeful, but still uncertain, that he’d be available.
During an appearance on FS1, NBA insider Ric Bucher shared a wild story from the end of the Nets’ season, and said that Simmons ghosted his teammates left a players-only group chat when asked if he’d play with Brooklyn facing a 3-0 deficit.
Ric Bucher says that after game 3 against the Celtics last year, Nets players text Ben Simmons in a group chat asking if he’d be ready to play in game 4
According to Bucher, not only did Ben Simmons not respond, he left the chat
LMAO what on earth pic.twitter.com/fHIPoBYgQF
— Josh Reynolds (@JoshReynolds24) August 8, 2022