Nets Notes: Simmons, Nash, Minutes, Irving

Nets head coach Steve Nash appreciates returning star Ben Simmons for what he can contribute and says he doesn’t mind if the 6’10” forward never develops a jumper, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.

“Very unique. That’s what makes Ben great. That’s why I don’t care if he ever shoots a jump shot for the Brooklyn Nets,” Nash said. “He’s welcome to, but that is not what makes him special and not what we need. He’s a great complement to our team, and he’s an incredible basketball player because of his versatility.”

Nash is especially excited to see how Simmons meshes with Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this season, as Friedell relays.

“I think they’ll have a certain element of cohesion out of the gates,” Nash said. “Because they’re all really good basketball players, but hopefully it’s something that evolves. And they can continue to find ways to make each other better. I think that’s the beauty, that they actually fit really well together, but it may take time.”

There’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • Friedell tweets that neither Simmons nor Nash anticipate limiting the 26-year-old’s minutes to begin the 2022/23 NBA season, despite the fact that he’s coming off back surgery in the spring. Friedell notes that Nash has been happy with Simmons’ output in practice.
  • Irving has high expectations for the ceiling of his talented new teammate, Friedell writes in another ESPN story. “That level of talent, and IQ and motivation and drive — anything’s possible,” Irving said of Simmons. “He has that ‘it’ inside of him so now we just have to slowly develop him where he knows that he can just go out there and be himself. We want him to be his highest potential of himself As a player, be able to accomplish things out on the floor that he wasn’t able to do the last few years. And just have some fun being at peace around him.” Irving himself missed most of the 2021/22 season due to his reticence to get vaccinated against COVID-19 amid vaccine mandate policies for New York City employees. With those policies now relaxed, Irving and Simmons should both see plenty of run in Brooklyn.
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