Top Stories
These guys will be led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The latter — who shares the same high school coach as Simmons — said the Nets will protect the newcomer but added he won’t need it.  “He’s a big boy, he can handle it. He doesn’t shy away from the moment, and I like that,” Irving said. “I’ve seen it since he was in high school. We’ve had a connection playing for the same high school coach with Kevin Boyle. So we know what it’s like to be yelled [at], get mother-effed all the time, the championships, being held accountable to the higher level. And that’s the best environment to be in.”
Storyline: Mental Health
After sitting out — citing mental health issues — the Nets acquired him at the trade deadline. Simmons didn’t play the rest of last season, eventually requiring back surgery for a herniated disk. Now, he’s not only fully cleared medically but in the right headspace to compete.  “I’ve put myself in position. I’ve been working on myself this past year to get back on the floor and play at a high level,” Simmons said. “I deserve to take this opportunity to get back on the court, so I’m excited to team up with these guys, these coaches.”