The Brooklyn Nets are down 0-3 in a best-of-seven first-round series against the Boston Celtics. They desperately need a win to keep their season alive.
So their game on Wednesday in Boston is truly a must-win game (7:00 p.m. ET).
More than 24 hours before tip-off, the Nets announced the Ben Simmons would not play after all due to "return to competition reconditioning/back soreness."
Reports for more than a week penciled in Game 4 as the game Simmons was targeting to make his season debut. That's right, he hasn't even played in a game this season.
Not with the Philadelphia 76ers.
And not with the Brooklyn Nets.
It's a dark cloud that's hung over him wherever he's gone.
So after the Nets' announcement, Reggie Miller tweeted his thoughts about the whole thing — with an emphasis on "This dude has ZERO competitive (fire emoji)."
Simmons, 25, is earning $33 million this season.
He hasn't played in a game, but he's been ramping up to hopefully contribute late in the season. His teammates need him, they have to talk about him and answer for him, but he's yet to put on the Brooklyn uniform for anything other than a photoshoot.
The last game he played in was on June 20, 2021. It was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, 76ers against the Hawks. Simmons finished 2 for 4 shooting with 5 points, eight rebounds and 13 assists in the loss to end the 76ers' season.
He then refused to report to 76ers training camp and wanted to be traded. And ultimately, that wish was fulfilled in a monster trade highlighted by Simmons to Brooklyn and James Harden to Philadelphia.
Now will we see Simmons at all this season? It's growing unlikely. And it's on his new teammates to keep their season alive Monday night.
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