Shams Charania throws cold water on Ben Simmons group chat story: 'This never happened'

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Ric Bucher of Fox Sports set the NBA rumor mill ablaze earlier this week when he reported that Ben Simmons left a team group chat after not responding to teammates asking about his availability for the Net’s eventual game four loss to the Celtics in last season’s playoff series.

Simmons wound up never suiting up for Brooklyn after coming over in the James Harden trade, and since then, Kevin Durant has asked to be dealt, while many wonder what Simmons’ status will be this coming season after not playing a second of game action all of last season.

As for the group chat story, Shams Charania of The Athletic joined Pat McAfee on Tuesday and threw some cold water on that juicy rumor.

“This never happened,” Charania said bluntly. “Something that never occurred…it sounds amazing, but it didn’t happen.”

In fact, Charania said that Simmons has been progressing well from his lingering back troubles, and the Nets are expecting him to be a big factor for the team this upcoming season.

“Ben Simmons is doing more on the floor,” Charania said. “He’s looking good. I think the Nets have high, high expectations for him next year…he’s supposed to be ready for training camp in a month and a half. He’s doing more and more on the court, I’m told.”