Ben Simmons is getting ready to make his longed-for comeback to the NBA after missing the entire 2021/22 season due to his back and forth with the Philadelphia 76ers, mental health issues, and back injuries. The player went from Philly to Brooklyn, but he couldn't make his debut last season, as his back problems were unbearable at some point.
This campaign, the Australian point guard is looking to bounce back and show everybody that he's not done and can help the Brooklynites compete for important things even with Kevin Durant out of the lineup. A lot has been said about Simmons and his lack of shooting skills, but not everybody thinks he should become a shooter to be successful.
Recently, former Boston Celtics player Kendrick Perkins spoke about this matter, supporting Simmons and giving a good example of what he can do to play great without forcing himself to become a Stephen Curry. Perkins mentioned one of his former teammates, Rajon Rondo, recalling that he didn't have a jump shot and still was great in the league, which could happen to Ben if he focus on his strengths (2:28).
“Whether he has Kyrie Irving or KD, if he doesn't have either one of those guys, I'm expecting big things from Ben Simmons. We have to remember, about two and a half, three years ago, when we had the conversation of players under 25 who was at the top tier, he was one of them. When it comes down to Ben Simmons and his playmaking ability, he's one of the best in the league.
When you talk about his physical strength, his athleticism, when he's at his best, he's one of the best in the league. You talk about one of the best defenders all around, he's one of the best in the league. He continues to grow in those areas, his confidence will grow with his outside shooting.
Again, I watched a guy in Rajon Rondo, everybody said, 'Rondo needs to develop a jump shot', but I saw Rondo thrive for a decade without having a consistent jump shot by just being the best version of Rajon Rondo ... And that's all a coach need to do is to walk into the locker room and say, 'I need Ben Simmons to be the best version of Ben Simmons, not who the world wants him to be.'”
According to Stephen A. Smith, Simmons is ready for a revenge season. He knows he has a lot to prove this upcoming campaign and won't stop until he has the Nets competing against the juggernauts of the East. This could be a terrific season for him, even without Kyrie and Durant, but we have to wait to see what version of Simmons will show up next year.