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The teammates applaud Ben Simmons

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The teammates applaud Ben Simmons

After scoring his first points for the Brooklyn Nets with a thunderous dunk in a preseason matchup against his old Philadelphia 76ers as 15 months of off-court difficulties finally came to a close, Ben Simmons claimed it felt “wonderful” to be back on an NBA court.

After missing the entire previous season due to an injury and mental health issues, Simmons finally took the court with fellow stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at the Barclays Center in New York. This was Simmons’ first time playing since his shocking departure from the Philadelphia 76ers following game seven of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

In his 19 minutes on the floor, Simmons, who was playing his first game in more than 400 days, scored his team’s first points with a powerful slam off an Irving assist and showed off all of his sparkling passing prowess. Coach Steve Nash used 17 players in the 127-108 defeat.

However, he missed both of his free-throw tries and a couple more mid-range jump shots, drawing boos as a result. Nonetheless, the Australian concluded the game against the team he abruptly left with six points, five assists, and four rebounds.

Making errors is the only way to gain knowledge, according to Simmons.

I had a few out there tonight, so I can review the footage later and figure out what went wrong and how to correct it.

“I’m thankful to have ever stepped onto that NBA court. So, yes, it’s a lot of fun outside.

James Harden and Joel Embid, Simmons’ former teammates, sat out the game, so he didn’t receive any on-court attention.

He received accolades from his new teammates as well, including Irving, who remarked that Simmons didn’t need to rush back to his All-Star form after such a lengthy absence.

Every time someone returns, it will take some time, he added.

I told him at halftime that despite what you may have heard, we’re going to make the game easy for you when you play with some high-level guys. He’ll like having fun with us.

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