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‘I’m good to go’ – Boston Herald


After missing the entire 2021-22 NBA season and undergoing a procedure on his lower back this summer, Nets star Ben Simmons says there are no limitations to his game.

Simmons, who missed all of last season due to both mental health issues and a herniated disk in his lower back, was a full participant in Nets practice for the second day in a row for Day 2 of Nets training camp at the HSS Training Facility in Industry City on Wednesday. For reference, Simmons’ lingering back issues prevented him from ever playing five-on-five after his midseason trade to the Nets last season.

Those issues, however, appear to be behind him. Simmons said he blocked teammate David Duke Jr. at the rim during Wednesday’s practice.

“I’m getting used to the up and down play, but I feel great,” he said. “It’s good to be here with the guys.”

Simmons said he can do everything now after the surgery that he could before he missed all of last season. When asked if there’s anything he’s not cleared for, Simmons said: “Pretty sure I’m good to go.”

The Nets, however, have been down this road before: thinking a player is fully healed before a setback occurs. It happened last season with Joe Harris and the season prior with James Harden.

Head coach Steve Nash is optimistic Simmons can handle his normal load of around 34 minutes per game, but the Nets aren’t going to rush the process.

“I don’t want to get too carried away,” Nash said. “We’ve had a few wobbles in the last two years. Nothing’s set in stone. That would be the plan, that he’s in a great place now where he can be ready (to play a full load of minutes), but to build back into NBA rhythm, the demands, the travel, that’s the last adaptation process for him. But he’s in a great spot and there’s no reason to feel like he can’t get there.”

Nash said the team plans to use Simmons at any and every one of the five positions on the floor, but there has been an emphasis on using him as both a point guard and a center.

“I think if he’s the quote-unquote lone big [on the floor], that’s a role we’ll definitely play him at,” he said. “But he’s also our playmaker and point guard.”

Simmons added he can play anywhere on the floor.

“I’ll play wherever the team needs me to play. Whatever helps,” he said. “I can guard one through five, play one through five. I think it’s just one of those things where we have so many different talents on this team to where you put me anywhere to help get points, get stops, whatever it is.”

Simmons said one of the biggest changes for him will be preparation before games.

“I think the older I get the more I know I need to take care of my body,” he said. “So food wise, nutrition, and then everyday massage therapy, pilates I’m staying on top of my body this year. So it’s a lot, but it’s a must.”

It doesn’t appear he’s worried about a minute restriction, though. Asked if he can shoulder his normal load of 34-plus minutes, Simmons said: “If you need me to, I got you.”



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