Ben Simmons joined JJ Reddick on his podcast, “The Old Man and the Three,” and had plenty to say about his criticizers, particularly when it comes to his shooting ability.
“I’m keeping tabs on everybody and what’s being said,” Simmons said. “I’m going to practice and get better. It is what it is. And that’s just part of the game. If I was a guy that sucked and people didn’t care, people wouldn’t be mentioning my name.”
Simmons did say that it used to get to him, but he’s long since put that behind him and is ready to let it fly when he makes his Nets debut.
“I didn’t realize it early in my career,” Simmons told Reddick. “It started building up, like, ‘They’re saying I can’t, should I not? I’m confused now.’ It did f--- with me a lot, but I kind of found peace in a place where I’m just like ‘F—it, it’s basketball. I’m great at the game and I need to go out there and show people what I can do.
“I need to. I just need to go out there and put some up.”
Many expected to see Simmons in a Brooklyn uniform at some point last season, but flare-ups with his back kept him off the floor throughout the regular season and the Nets’ first-round sweep at the hands of the Celtics. But Simmons is expecting big things in what will be his first full year in Brooklyn.
“It’s going to be sick, I can’t wait,” Simmons said. “I’m so excited. I’ve got a new number, a new jersey. I’m just looking forward to it. I think we have a special team and if we get it all together we’re going to be champions. That’s the end goal.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1