NBA News 2023 Brooklyn Nets


The patience of Ben Simmons’ Brooklyn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn appears to be waning after the Australian withdrew from his second NBA clash of the year. 

In the third quarter of the Nets’ loss to the Detroit Pistons – the second of back-to-back matches – Simmons pulled out of the match complaining of “knee soreness”.

The Aussie has missed several matches already this season with the same ailment, along with calf and lower back pain.

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Simmons said the issues are all connected to a back problem for which he underwent surgery last year.

But in the absence of Kevin Durant, Simmons is the Nets’ second highest-paid player, and frustrations about his perceived under-performance are growing.

In the post-game press conference, Vaughn was asked for an injury update and all but rolled his eyes as he told reporters of Simmons injury.

He then inferred he didn’t believe Simmons was doing all he could to recuperate.

“The goal, in my eyes, is for everyone to play every game and to do what’s necessary to be prepared to play every game,” he said.

“There’s a certain amount of minutes that each individual played in Philly. Some played equally tonight. 

“So the preparation that it takes going into that, you just have to give credit to the guys who were prepared to play, ready to play, did what was necessary to get their bodies ready to play.”

Since Durant sprained his MCL earlier this month, the Nets have lost six of eight games played. 

Simmons has averaged just six points, 5.9 rebounds, and 8.3 assists. 

Before he came off against the Pistons, he hadn’t scored a point from just three attempts.

The day before against the 76ers, Simmons was relentlessly booed by the Philadelphia crowd, before he was benched by Vaughn for the final nine minutes of the match.

Before that point, he showed glimpses of what he’s capable of, with a 12-point third term while superstar Kyrie Irving was on the bench. 

The problem for the Nets is they were his only points of the game.

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