Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving says ‘something’s potential’ for gifted, motivated Ben Simmons



NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving is assured that “something’s potential,” for brand new teammate Ben Simmons now that the gifted swingman has “peace round him” in his basketball life. Irving, like coach Steve Nash, is assured that Simmons will be capable of slot in rapidly to the framework of the workforce.

“That stage of expertise, and IQ and motivation and drive — something’s potential,” Irving stated. “He has that ‘it’ inside him so now we simply must slowly develop him the place he is aware of that he can simply go on the market and be himself. We wish him to be his highest potential of himself As a participant, be capable of accomplish issues out on the ground that he wasn’t capable of do the previous couple of years. And simply have some enjoyable being at peace round him.

“Having some extent guard 6’10, 6’11, I am additionally some extent guard, lead guard, no matter you wish to name my place. It is good to get off the ball and have him stand up and down the ground. It’ll take time clearly for health-wise, however we’re affected person, so simply anticipate him to appear like he is in All-Star kind once more which I do know will occur quickly.”

Simmons, 26, was acquired simply earlier than February’s commerce deadline from the Philadelphia 76ers. He sat out the primary half of final season, citing psychological well being issues, and was not capable of play for the Nets after the deal was accomplished due to ongoing again points, which resulted in offseason surgical procedure. Now that he seems to be in a a lot better bodily and psychological place to begin the 2022-23 season, the Nets consider he’s going to have a giant yr.

Drawing from his personal expertise with issues he is handled in his personal psychological well being prior to now, Irving is assured Simmons will be capable of play at a excessive stage once more as a result of his thoughts must be extra relaxed in Brooklyn.

“It means the whole lot,” Irving stated. “It means they arrive in with a peace of thoughts. And so they simply benefit from the recreation of basketball. It is a career for positive, I do not wish to knock that, it is a seriousness about it, however constructing workforce camaraderie takes that potential to undergo some uncomfortable moments and you bought to be balanced mentally, spiritually, emotionally, be capable of deal with issues like that. So I undoubtedly have first-hand expertise, I do not wish to make mental- well being a pattern.

“Genuinely, it is one of the crucial necessary issues that you just want out right here to be nice in something you do. All of us are supportive, all of us undergo our personal issues, however we are able to perceive and meet him the place he is at and simply have him benefit from the recreation. Fairly than make it really feel prefer it’s one thing he is pressured to come back to in any respect. So I really feel good.”

The Nets are attempting to do the whole lot they will to make Simmons really feel comfy in his new environment. Nash doubled down on what he stated after Wednesday’s apply, that he did not ‘care’ if Simmons, who struggled to search out consistency together with his soar shot in Philadelphia, took soar pictures with the Nets.

“I do not want him to shoot it,” Nash stated. “I am not asking him to shoot it. If he is open and needs to shoot it I am not going to be yanking him out of the sport, however that is not what he does. For me, Ben is an unimaginable playmaker, he performs level guard, he is unimaginable in transition, he is a very good screener … these are issues that we want from Ben and that is what he is particular at.”

Nash stated Simmons has “no limitations,” in coaching camp. Whereas Nash nonetheless hasn’t determined who will play in Monday’s preseason opener towards the Sixers, he’s assured that Simmons will not have a minutes restrict to begin the season as he works his approach again after lacking nearly a yr and a half.

“I feel he seems to be nice,” Nash stated. “I feel he is taking part in nicely. He is undoubtedly on his approach again to his finest. I am simply not a kind of folks that thinks Ben has to shoot the ball. I don’t. He’s a particular, particular participant with out taking any soar pictures. There’s different options for that. He has so many issues he brings to the desk and compliments our group that that is simply not necessary to me. It isn’t. It isn’t what he brings to the desk for us.”

Nets guard, and fellow Australian, Patty Mills can also be assured that Simmons is in a a lot better headspace than he has been in lately.

“I feel with the quantity of stuff a person can undergo, I do not know if it should ever be clear, however I do know the place his mindset is correct now, is in a extremely good place,” Mills stated. “He is excited to be again on the ground and making an influence. Once more, one other presence on the ground that brings a unique sort of power to the workforce. And he is the kind of participant too that makes his teammates round him higher.

“In order that’s a very good feeling to know as nicely. However I feel from a mindset standpoint, transferring on and getting enthusiastic about new issues, his skills, I feel he [likes] the place his head’s at.”

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