Ben Simmons' first active season with the Brooklyn Nets will have him with many eyes on everything he does on the court. The controversial point guard landed in Brooklyn last season and didn't play a single minute, raising eyebrows around the league for his reasoning.
Well, that's part of the past now and Simmons has already played with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the Nets' loss against the Philadelphia 76ers in the team's preseason opener. They'll face the Miami Heat tomorrow in another big outing for them ahead of the new NBA season.
Ben, Durant, and Irving will try to show more of what we can expect from them in the regular season, but it's still too early to see these two going at it at full strength. Meanwhile, people are reacting to Simmons' return to the court after over a year without basketball action.
Draymond Green Has High Hopes For Ben Simmons This Season
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green is one of the people who are high on Simmons and expect him to be great this campaign. Draymond is another controversial player, and he didn't hesitate to defend Simmons while predicting that having a group of shooters around him will only benefit Ben (16:11).
"I think Ben is going to have a great year. With Ben's passing ability, the shooting that he has around him in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Joe Harris, Seth Curry - that type of shooting around Ben Simmons, the way that he can play make - I think he's going to have a good year."
He then challenged Simmons to keep being himself and not listen to what everybody says he should or shouldn't do this season.
"I challenge Ben to not get outside of himself and want to prove to everyone else what they want to see, forget that bro. You an All-Star, three-time All-Star, All-NBA performer. You're Ben Simmons for a reason. Be Ben Simmons and be the absolute best Ben Simmons you can be."
"F**k what everybody else talking about, 'I want to see him shoot a three, I want to see him shoot a jump shot', what if he can't? If he can't, oh well, guess what he can do and that's what I want to talk about, what he can do... Man averaging 18, 7, and 7, y'all talking about he's a bum, stop it."
Simmons has been heavily criticized for not developing a jump shot, but to be honest, it doesn't seem like the Nets will need him to attempt 4 or 5 mid or long-range shots this season. If he can become a decent shooter, then he will be a bigger threat to rivals, but right now, that looks unnecessary seeing the type of talent he has around.
Then again, if he wants to add more weapons to his arsenal, then a jump shot is a must for the Australian player, who has joked about attempting 20 3s per game this upcoming season.