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Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons
Position: F
Born: 07/20/96
Height: 6-10 / 2.08
Weight:240 lbs. / 108.9 kg.
Salary: $35,448,672
After the Nets’ 112-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night where he put up 14 points, six dimes, three steals and two blocks, Ben Simmons told reporters that it’s the best he’s felt in terms of mobility in recent memory. Simmons memorably took the entire 2021-22 season off, nursing back and knee problems along the way. “So far this is the best I’ve felt in terms of moving. Obviously it’s a back-to-back too. I think my minutes were supposed to be lower, but I was trying to push myself and I wanted to be out there to help the team win,” Simmons said, via SNY Nets.
Erik Slater: This clip of KD talking about Ben Simmons yelling at him after he passed up a backdoor dunk in Portland is hilarious: “Joe missed the shot and I look up and Ben was like ‘Dunk the f***ing ball!’” Simmons’ mindset has done a complete 180. pic.twitter.com/swf4ZD6Nmv

“I had a terrible year,” Simmons says, flatly, “so I know how to handle my emotions and what I need to be doing to get on track. If I’m worried or sad or frustrated or angry, I feel like I’m better able to deal with that now. It took time, but I’m at peace with who I am and what’s going on around me. I know what my priorities are, and what I need to do every day. Besides that, I just want to be me.”

Ben Simmons: 'Everyone’s been tearing me down for a year straight'

“Everyone’s been tearing me down for a year straight,” he says, pausing. “It sucks.” But all that criticism is fuel, too, for a new season that’s now two weeks old but, when we met in September, had not yet begun. “I love when people are talking shit, wanting to see me down, because in my head I’m playing with house money. I know I’m not gonna go out there and suck. I know that’s not going to happen. I would have to be a different person.”
That’s a reference to his sister Olivia, with whom he was close growing up, and who in early 2021 accused their half-brother Sean Tribe of molesting her as a child. Her tweets on the subject were denied by the family and later found to be defamatory. “I was the target, so I felt a responsibility to keep everything together,” says 36-year-old Tribe, Simmons’s manager since his days in Louisiana until last year. “But that affects me, therefore it affects Ben, because we’re family and I’m working with him every day.” With his professional and personal lives both shaken, Simmons was adrift. “These things just started piling up and piling up, and basketball was supposed to be my happy place, where I’m able to be free and express myself, and suddenly I wasn’t able to do that.” Before countless games he would call his sister Emily, who manages Simmons’s marketing and had, like Tribe, moved to the US to support him. He remembers once asking her a simple plaintive question: “Do you ever just wake up sad?”