Brooklyn Nets‘ Ben Simmons has circled Nov. 22 on his calendar.
It’s going to be his first game in Philadelphia since the blockbuster swap with James Harden.
The atmosphere would not be as welcoming when he made his NBA debut. It’s going to be the exact opposite. After his messy exit in Philadelphia, there will be no love lost in Simmons’s first game against his former team in the city of brotherly love.
“F–k, I can’t wait to go there, yeah. But for me, everything’s an experience and a learning situation. So for me I’m able to learn something that I’ve never been through before. I’ve never been traded and played against a team that I got traded from. Kev (Kevin Durant) has, Ky (Kyrie Irving) has, a lot of guys have, but I’ve never been in that situation so — you have to go through it. Ky went back to Boston, and he didn’t play well, but it’s a lot. We’re people, too. We want to go out there and prove everyone wrong.”Ben Simmons via ESPN
Simmons can definitely lean on Durant and Irving, who were also antagonized when they switched teams. The 6-foot-10 Simmons is still finding his rhythm but has shown flashes since his return from a long 470-day layoff. He had his moments in the Nets’ preseason while he’s still getting his legs back. His promising play as a defensive lynchpin and a versatile playmaker raises hopes that he could help the Nets in late June to get over the hump.
But first things first, he has to get over the mental hurdles of playing in Philadelphia to move on from his traumatic exit.
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