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HomeBasketball TodayBen Simmons' agent spills the tea on his struggles with Nets star's...

Ben Simmons’ agent spills the tea on his struggles with Nets star’s injuries

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Ben Simmons’ agent took blame for the Nets star’s extended injury absences.

The Ben Simmons injury cycle has been never-ending since the three-time All-Star joined the Brooklyn Nets at the 2022 trade deadline. After sitting out the first half of 2021-22 while forcing his way out of Philadelphia, the former No. 1 pick has appeared in 57 of 178 possible games with the Nets.

Simmons missed the second half of the 2022-23 season due to a nerve impingement in the right side of his back. Despite a seven-month rehab process, he played just six games to start 2023-24 before being sidelined for three months by an impingement in the lower left side of his back. He returned for nine games before the injury resurfaced, forcing him to miss Brooklyn’s last four contests.

Simmons has made just 15 appearances this season, averaging 6.1 points, 7.9  rebounds, and 5.7 assists. Following the latest setback, his agent, Bernie Lee, took responsibility for his client’s inability to stay on the floor, via Ian Begley of SNY.

“We continue to try and find non-surgical options to allow Ben to move forward on a permanent basis and that is where this is my responsibility and I am (the) one to blame,” Lee said. “When I began working with Ben I made a commitment to him that I would do everything I could to find the right answers and specialists for him to work with (in order) to move forward from the issues he has been having. Clearly it hasn’t happened and that’s my responsibility.”

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Like Nets interim head coach Kevin Ollie, Lee called Simmons day-to-day. However, the agent has had trouble projecting timetables for his client in the past. Following Simmons’ diagnosis early this season, Lee said the 27-year-old should be out “days to weeks” and return “in a short period of time without any issue.”

Simmons would miss three months.

Simmons setback

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (not in uniform) sits on the bench in the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The latest setback would not come as a surprise to those familiar with the nature of Simmons’ injury. After the point guard’s diagnosis in November, a back specialist told The New York Post’s Brian Lewis that the injury can be “reoccurring” and “unpredictable,” adding that the disc the Aussie had surgery on “will never be what it was.”

“It’ll never be 100 percent right. It’s fixed, but his analogy was like patching a tire. The patch could hold, but it might not,” Lewis said of the specialist’s assessment.

Lee said the plan is for Simmons to recover and finish this season before reevaluating his treatment process this summer.

“We are trying to get clearer answers as to how to get him out of the reactive cycle he’s in,” Lee said. “Come the offseason, we’re going to implement some processes and outside input that’ll allow him to finally move forward from this on-going issue and resume his career at the levels he’s established prior to being injured.”

Simmons will enter the final season of a five-year, $177 million contract in 2024-25.

Erik Slater_headshot

About the Author

Erik Slater is the credentialed Brooklyn Nets beat reporter for ClutchPoints. He’s a graduate of Lehigh University and the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, as well as a Lehigh Football and Syracuse Football alum.

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