Ben Simmons out for remainder of NBA season in brutal new development

The Aussie's disappointing first full season with the Brooklyn Nets is officially over.

·4-min read
Ben Simmons, pictured here in action for the Brooklyn Nets.
Ben Simmons has been shut down for the rest of the NBA season. Image: Getty

Ben Simmons' disappointing first full NBA season with the Brooklyn Nets is officially over, with the team announcing on Tuesday that the Aussie has been shut down because of a nerve injury in his back. Simmons visited multiple specialists this week, who determined he shouldn't play again this season because of a nerve impingement.

The 26-year-old Aussie, who was limited to just 42 games this season, will begin a full rehabilitation program. Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said the team expects Simmons to make a full recovery.

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“I want to coach Ben and I want to be able to push Ben to get back to all-defensive team and impact our team on both ends of the floor,” Vaughn said. “So that’s definitely the goal going forward.”

It marks the second-straight year that Simmons has missed a large chunk of action because of a back injury. He had surgery last off-season to repair a disk problem, and was hampered by a sore left knee once he returned to the court.

Issues with his back then resurfaced. Simmons, the No.1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, didn't play after the All-Star break in February, finishing his season with averages of 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

The Aussie had lost his spot in the Nets' starting line-up before the break after he was unable to recapture the form that earned him three All-Star appearances while at the Philadelphia 76ers. He was traded to the Nets in February last year after initially refusing to play for the Sixers in the 2021-22 season, citing mental-health concerns.

Back problems once again surfaced as Simmons worked towards getting himself ready to play for the Nets. The Aussie is making $US35.4 million ($A53m) this season, and is due $US78.2m ($A117m) more over the next two years.

Ben Simmons, pictured here watching on from the bench during a Brooklyn Nets game.
Ben Simmons watches on from the bench during a Brooklyn Nets game. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA world reacts to news about Ben Simmons

In October, basketball analyst Doug Norrie was highly critical of Simmons' play, particularly in regards to fouls. “Let’s just say it for what it is, it’s been bad across the board. The mental piece of it is not there with these fouls,” Norrie told the Locked on Nets podcast.

“If these are going to be the numbers, the Nets cannot win. These are real issues. The Nets have gotten absolutely murdered in his minutes.

"I’m pro Simmons – I want him to be good – I’m not trying to drag him. These are just the numbers, this is what’s happening here.”

Adam Armbrecht added: “Ben Simmons' aggressiveness and the way he can impact a game defensively is unquestionable. What is questionable is his judgement in certain situations when he has five fouls ... now there’s multiple games where Ben Simmons is getting called on those moving screens fouls on the offensive end with consistency.

“He needs to be making that adjustment, because now we’re talking about five instances over the last two games – and that’s really where you’re coming up against it having five fouls late – these little instances throughout the game and then an ugly one at the end that gets you fouled out.”

with agencies

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