• Roland Lazenby believes Ben Simmons can only get the monkey off his back once he sees action
  • The Nets could use Simmons as they ramp up their push for the playoffs
  • Steve Nash belittles the latest setback hounding Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons got his wish when he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden in the closing hours of the NBA trade deadline.

But despite the change in zip codes, the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year has yet to play a single game this 2021-22 season.

Considering the Nets need all the help they can get, this could be telling.

But more importantly, the delay in his official debut with the Nets could ramp up the pressure on Simmons to prove his doubters wrong.

In the eyes of renowned sportsbook author Roland Lazenby, Simmons needs to go out and show his talent and competency when he appeared on the Sports Bytes PH podcast opposite Filipino journalist Brian Yalung.

“Ben Simmons will have to show, whenever he gets on the floor, that he has gained a new competency, a new confidence. It doesn’t have to be a huge offensive leader. But he has to be ready to take that open shot and live with the consequences. We won’t know until we see that, if he is ready. If all this time away from the game he has gotten prepared for that,” Lazenby stated.

The 70-year-old American scribe also added that aside from getting over the playing hump, Simmons will need to answer several questions hounding him.

“Will he find a similar or different pressure in Brooklyn with the Nets because it all comes down to that final thing…can you win? Can you develop the chemistry to win? Yes, you’re making all this money. Your family for generations will be wealthy because you a top pick. You are a maximum contract player in the American pro basketball league,” Lazenby shared.

In the latest update released on the 6-foot-11 cager, Simmons is reportedly dealing with back soreness in the reconditioning process considering he has been out of action for quite some time, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported.

When asked to comment about it, head coach Steve Nash hardly appeared bothered, Slam Online reported.

“It’s not like an injury, it’s just as he’s returning to play, his back has flared up a little bit. He hasn’t played a game since June so that’s just part of his process of returning to play is as you ramp up, he’s a little sub septic to certain things as you would be with muscle soreness or tightness. He’s got a little tightness,” Nash stated.

Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets speaks with Patty Mills
Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets speaks with Patty Mills Getty Images | Steven Ryan