Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons made his team debut in the preseason opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night, and his teammates like what they've seen so far.
Nets point guard Kyrie Irving told reporters after the game that he feels Simmons will benefit greatly from being on the team, saying: "I was telling him at halftime, when you're playing with some high-level players—despite what you've heard—we’re going to make the game easier for you, and he's gonna love playing with us."
Simmons finished with six points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal in Brooklyn's 127-108 loss. He played 19 minutes in his first game action since the 2021 playoffs when he was a member of the 76ers. After he was traded to the Nets, Simmons ended up sitting out the entire 2021-22 season because of a combination of injuries and his need to address his mental health.
"For him to be out there for his first day, and for us to experience it with him, it's something we can remember for the rest of the season as something that we got through," Irving added.
Despite his limited production Monday, Simmons impressed enough to earn rave reviews on social media. His versatility on both ends of the floor seem to be a natural fit with Brooklyn, which has title aspirations this year after the returns of Irving and star forward Kevin Durant.
"This was day one, highly anticipated, glad it went his way tonight on some easy baskets and he made some great plays, but obviously he knows that he has a ways to go before he gets to feeling like his true self," Irving said.
The Nets will open their season on Oct. 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans.