Celtics Caused Major Rift Between Nets Stars: Report

Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, whose relationship was tested during their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics.

Getty Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, whose relationship was tested during their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets have been intertwined for the past few weeks due to trade rumors surrounding superstar Kevin Durant. But funnily enough, their ties as organizations run even deeper, as they have faced off against each other in the first round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.

While the Nets got the better of an injured Boston team two seasons ago, the Celtics took advantage of a (kind of) injured Brooklyn team this past season. The “kind of” is in parentheses because the Nets were technically fully healthy. The only injured player for the majority of the series was Ben Simmons, who didn’t play a single game for Brooklyn all year.

However, a recent report has revealed that the series against the Celtics this past year caused a rift between Simmons and his teammates. According to Fox Sports analyst Ric Bucher, when the Nets asked Simmons to play in Game 4 against the Celtics, not only did he ignore the message, but he left the group chat entirely.

“Ben Simmons, they’re having a team chat before Game 4, thinking he’s going to play against the Boston Celtics. And from what I’m told, Ben just left the chat. They asked him ‘are you going to play’? Ben left the chat. Like, he didn’t even answer the question, just left the chat,” Bucher revealed to Colin Cowherd on FS1’s The Herd.


THE HERD | Colin: Ric Bucher talks Darvin Ham vs Westbrook, Shaq on Kevin Durant#Undisputed #SkipBayless #ShannonSharpe THE HERD | Colin: Ric Bucher talks Darvin Ham vs Westbrook, Shaq on Kevin Durant2022-08-04T18:34:40Z

Boston would go on to win Game 4 of that series, sweeping the Nets and, potentially, causing the downfall of the current core. However, while that story is certainly an interesting one, another NBA insider refuted the claim.


Insider Calls Simmons Story False

While Bucher claimed that Simmons ignored his teammates and left the group chat, other reports have indicated otherwise. In fact, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who made an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, the entire story is completely false.

“All I’m going to say on this is, this never happened. Never happened. Never happened. Ben Simmons, actually, I’m going to do some more, I’m going to give Ben Simmons some love here. From everything I’ve been told, he is doing more on the floor, he’s looking good. I think the Nets have high, high expectations for Ben Simmons next year. You’re talking about a guy, three-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA guy. I think that there are high, high expectations for Ben Simmons.”

When the Nets traded for Simmons at the deadline this past season, they were expecting to get an All-Star back for James Harden in that deal. And while that still might be possible, there had to have been some level of disappointment when he didn’t play at all last year.

In addition to his reporting, however, Charania gave a new update on Simmons heading into next year.


Charania Notes Important Simmons News

The young point guard/forward was unable to return to action last season, but according to Charania, he’s on pace to make his return to the court by training camp.

“He’s supposed to be ready for training camp here in a month and a half. He’s doing more and more on the court, I’m told. So, good news on the Ben Simmons front. This, though, was not something that occurred…

So, whether or not Bucher’s Simmons story is true or not, it looks like the young star could be back sooner rather than later.

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