Ben Simmons is recovering from back surgery and he’s come back with a hint of glee too.
The Nets star liked a tweet from Skip Bayless on Thursday night, in which the “Undisputed” host angered Philadelphia 76ers leading scorer James Harden for his poor performance in an eliminator against the Miami Heat.
“James Harden didn’t typically show up for the second half of this closeout game,” Bayless wrote. “Now he’s mostly just another Jim Harden. Ben Simmons is going to end up making this deal look so silly for Philly.”
Harden – who forced his way out of Brooklyn in a multiplayer deal that sent Simmons into the nets – shot just 4 of 9 from the field in the Game 6 loss and failed to score on any of his shots in the second half. It was the latest poor performance from the high-scoring superstar who would be the anti-Simmons and help the Sixers win a title.
Simmons’ reluctance to shoot — particularly in last season’s playoffs — was the beginning of his downfall in Philly, which led to an offseason fraught with media criticism after Joel Embiid and Doc Rivers lost point guard following the 76ers’ elimination to the Hawks a year ago had defeated. The Aussie star – better known for his defensive and playmaking skills – did not feature in the 2021/22 season citing mental health and back problems.
The 25-year-old attempted to play against the Celtics in Game 4 of the Nets’ first-round sweep but instead opted for surgery to repair an L-4 herniated disc. Nets Brass are hoping he will be a solid contributor next season.
“In regards to Ben post-op, I don’t want to speak for him, but I can sense he’s relieved,” Brooklyn GM Sean Marks said earlier this month. “There’s a new life when you’re able to take a problem and say it should be fixed and move it out of here, and now it’s on to the rest.”