The NBA is continuing to push to restart their season in a unique 22-team format in the coming weeks, and nobody looks more ready to go than Ben Simmons.
The Australian superstar has used the coronavirus pandemic to recover from a lower back injury he’d sustained earlier this year, and an Instagram post boasting of the 23-year-old’s impressive workouts while on hiatus has left fans salivating.
‘DON’T WANT US’: Black tennis player's sobering admission
The NBA is set to being discussions with the NBA Players’ Association about the resumption of the season in July under the 22-team format.
The NBA's Board of Governors have approved a plan to restart the season, with a tentative July 31 target date, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Under the proposal, the 22 teams play eight seeding games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format with four best-of-seven series.
With Simmons’ Philadelphia 76ers sitting 6th in Eastern Conference prior to the season being suspended, fans are hoping his trimmed down physique and healed back will be a sign of this to come if and when play resumes.
“Ben Simmons bigger than LeBron. He gonna own the paint,” one fan wrote.
“Who is going to do a damn thing to stop this?? And don’t say the three point line,” wrote another.
Some however, were less charitable - suggesting ‘any degree of distance from the hoop’ would be enough to stop Simmons in his tracks.
NBA working through return to play plans
One man ruling himself out of the shortened season, if it resumes, is Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant.
The 10-time All-Star ruptured an Achilles tendon a year ago for Golden State in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against Toronto.
Ben Simmons bigger than LeBron. He gonna own the paint. pic.twitter.com/vCZca6hfgG— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) June 9, 2020
He also had COVID-19 this year.
"My season is over," Durant told The Undefeated on Friday.
"I don't plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season."