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Ben Simmons Was The Brooklyn Nets' Biggest Enemy In The 2019 Playoffs But Now He Carries Their Hopes For A Championship

Ben Simmons Was The Brooklyn Nets' Biggest Enemy In The 2019 Playoffs But Now He Carries Their Hopes For A Championship

Ben Simmons is now a part of the Brooklyn Nets, following his spectacular falling out with the Sixers which led to the eventual blockbuster trade that saw James Harden go the other way. It's safe to say that there's quite a bit of animosity between Simmons and the 76ers franchise at this point, considering that he sat out and chose to accrue millions in fines instead of appearing on the court for the team even once. 

This is a far cry away from the situation in 2019 when Simmons was still a superstar for the Sixers and they took on the underdog Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Simmons got into a proper tiff with Jared Dudley, who was then on the Nets. 

Brooklyn managed to get under Philly's skin by winning the first game of that series, even though the Sixers managed to win comfortably by 4 games to 1 in the end. With the narratives being what they were at the time, it's safe to say that Nets fans had quite a healthy dislike for Simmons. 

The situation is vastly different now, as is the Nets team, but it's still quite ironic that Ben returning to the form he has shown in seasons past is now something that the Nets have to rely on if they are going to make any noise in the playoffs this season. 

On paper, his talents fit excellently with the roster, as having shooters like Irving, Durant, Curry and Harris to kick the ball out to is ideal for Ben's style of play. However, after numerous months away from competitive basketball, there's no telling how well Simmons may or may not be able to play. 

Brooklyn fans may have made fun of Simmons' lack of shooting but they will now need to pray that he finds his scoring confidence during their run as well. Considering that Irving is still not allowed to play in any home games, Simmons will have to bear the secondary offensive load alongside KD. And if the two teams meet in the playoffs again, it is sure to be a much more emotionally charged series than it was in 2019.

Credit for the idea: Statline/Instagram