Disgraced Sixers Star Ben Simmons Sounds Off on Demotion With Nets

Ben Simmons, James Harden

Getty Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets, James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers

Former Philadelphia 76ers‘ no. 1 pick Ben Simmons is no longer a starter for the Brooklyn Nets. After the Nets overhauled their roster at the trade deadline, Simmons is now in a bench role. In an interview with Kristian Winfield of New York Daily News, Simmons gave his candid thoughts on how the Nets will use him from here on out.

After admitting to Winfield that he has “no idea” what his role will be on the Nets will be after the moves they made, Simmons sounded off how the Nets’ personnel changes have made it difficult for him, particularly now that he’s no longer a starter.

“Everything’s been changing all year, so it’s hard to really understand what’s going on, but hopefully we find some rhythm and consistency,” Simmons told Winfield. “It’s different. It’s a different experience (coming off the bench). So whatever the team needs from us to win, I’m willing to do that.”

Though Simmons sounded optimistic that the new-look Nets will find their footing in due time, he admitted that it has been easy due to all that’s happened.

“I think it’s a little frustrating trying to find some rhythm and consistency, but that’s what it is at this point right now,” he said. “Guys have been in and out due to injuries, trades, so there’s been a lot of different things that play factors into it. Hopefully, now we get a little bit of a stretch where we can find some rhythm and consistency.”

Jacque Vaughn on How the Nets Will Use Simmons

After the New York Knicks defeated the Nets on February 13, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn gave his thoughts on how the Nets will utilize Simmons going forward the best they can.

“It’s going to be some work that we have to do,” Vaughn said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Because you just take a look at what the lineups could potentially look like. You put another big next to Ben, then you got to figure out what the spacing is around him. Then if you put another playmaker next to him, then you got to figure out what Ben looks like without the basketball. Then if you go small with Ben, then you have to figure out (if) can you rebound enough with him. So the challenges are ahead of us.”

Coming off the bench against the Knicks, Simmons put up two points, three rebounds, and two assists in 13 minutes of playing time.

Doc Rivers’ Thoughts on Simmons

After the Sixers beat the Nets on February 11, head coach Doc Rivers said that he’s rooting for Simmons while voicing his optimism that Simmons will return to what he was before.

“I always have an affection for the guys I coach,” Rivers said, per Ky Carlin of SixersWire. “It never goes away. It doesn’t and I believe he can get back to where he was with us. Especially, now that he’s gonna have the ball in his hands more. I think that’s what we did that kinda freed him up, but it’s just gonna take time. Now, what, it’s been a year and a half? I don’t think it’ll be overnight, but he’s working, and that’s all you can do. I hope the best.”

Rivers coached Simmons for one season before Simmons sat out.