Nets Steve Nash says there’s ‘mental component’ to Ben Simmons’ delay

Ben Simmons
Apr 10, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) talks with fans prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

There may be more to Ben Simmons not playing in Game 4 than just his back.

An ESPN report that came out hours before the opening tipoff in Game 4 between the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics suggested that both the Nets and Simmons camp felt there was “more to do” in terms of working on “mental and physical areas.” Simmons has not made his Nets debut due to a herniated disc in his back that impacted his reconditioning, but has also been working on his mental health. 

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The 25-year-old cited his mental health as part of the reason why he wanted out of Philadelphia. 

“I want to be careful here. I don’t want to overstate my understanding of the situation because I’m not in Ben’s shoes. That’s very important for me not to speak for Ben because I can’t relate to what he’s going through,” Nash said addressing the ESPN report prior to the game. “There is a mental component with everything. I think Ben has addressed that there is a mental component with what he’s going through. But how much and where he’s at with that is not for me to speak about.”

Simmons’ agent Rich Paul met with Nets general manager Sean Marks on Monday, according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, to discuss the future of the point guard in Brooklyn. The NBA insider also reported that the feeling was that Simmons needed more support with the mental health aspect from the Nets organization. 

Nash told reporters Monday night that the organization was ready to help in any way possible with Simmons’ mental health work. 

“We’re really pushing to support Ben in any way we can to help him improve physically and get back on the court, and the mental side of that is part of it,” Nash said. “They’re not separate. They’re not something that we don’t want to deal with. We want to help if he needs help in any aspect of his life and his game. He’s a cornerstone, so we want to help him feel great, play great and become a part of this team.”

Simmons was acquired by the Nets at the trade deadline in February as part of a deal that sent James Harden to Philadelphia.