On Tuesday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported there was ‘frustration and disheartenment’ in the Nets organization towards Ben Simmons after he sat out Game 4 due to re-tweaking his lingering back issue.
The return of the injury came after positive reports of Simmons surfaced all week. Charania reported a meeting took place between Simmons’ camp and the Nets on Monday.
“Sunday’s events triggered frustration and disheartenment throughout the organization, multiple sources said. The fallout of Simmons being ruled out Sunday led to a meeting among franchise officials, Simmons, and his agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, on Monday in Brooklyn.”
Charania also reported that Simmons explained his reoccurring back issue to his teammates and team executives:
“According to sources, Simmons told those in the room that a mental block exists for him, dating in part to last summer’s postseason, which is creating stress that could serve as a trigger point for his back issues. He added that he does want to play basketball and play for the Nets as he works on solutions in regard to his well-being.”
Charania reported that it was not only the front office but also the players and coaches frustrated with the situation:
“On Sunday, Simmons informed the team his back was sore. For Nets players, the confusion was not centered around Simmons’ ailment but with the perceived lack of attempt to play, effort to be in uniform and push his body in these high-stakes playoffs, sources said. Nets players and coaches wanted to see Simmons show resolve and enter this series to start his on-court Brooklyn tenure, even if it was for limited minutes on Monday or none at all, while still dressing for the game.”