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Seth Curry on Ben Simmons: Expect a ‘challenging’ return to play

Minnesota Lynx v New York Liberty Photo by Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

In an interview with Australia’s two big newspapers, the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Seth Curry talked about how his Aussie teammate Ben Simmons is doing and what he expects when Simmons returns to play in October.

While noting that that Simmons is an “all-Star caliber” player who the Nets will need on the court, he also said that coming off a year-long holdout and back surgery, things could be challenging for Simmons.

“There are always challenges. Foremost, he has missed a whole season. It is going to be a challenge getting his rhythm back playing basketball,” Curry said.

“I don’t know specifically what he has been through, mentally – that’s hard for me to comment on – but having that year off, having that time off, of competing and playing five-on-five basketball is going to be just as hard ... just taking some time and getting re-acclimated to playing high-level basketball, but he is a special talent, has all the skills. The Nets need him on the floor.”

Simmons last played an NBA game on June 20, 2021 for the 76ers. Citing mental health issues, Simmons didn’t play at all in Philly, then was traded on February 10, 2022. During his ramp-up, Simmons suffered back pain. something that had bothered him in the past and on May 4, he underwent out-patient surgery in Los Angeles. He’s spent most of his time in Brooklyn since then recovering, rehabbing ... and taking in a couple of New York Liberty games.

Curry is embarking on an Australian promotion for Foot Locker and spoke with the two papers a couple of days ago. He said he’s seen Simmons working out and liked what he saw.

“I have seen him in the facility a couple of times,” Curry said. “Just like I said, [he’s] been doing a lot of shooting, working, working on his body and being in the gym, so, from everything I have seen, hopefully, he will be out there ready to go come training camp.”

The two, of course, were teammates in Philadelphia and were sent to Brooklyn along with Andre Drummond and two first round picks for James Harden and Paul Millsap at the trade deadline.

“We are going to need what he brings to the table. Obviously, he is an All-Star caliber player,” Curry said. “Obviously, he is trying to make the most of this off-season, get back healthy physically and mentally. Like I say, he had a year off, it’s going to be good for him to get back out on the court and get re-acclimated.”

Curry also said he has a selfish reason to hope for a return to his previous form which had him being selected to the NBA All-Star teams three times, the All-Defensive team twice and the All-NBA team once.

“He creates a lot of 3-point shots for his teammates. Obviously, it helps me a lot, to get good shots. The pick-and-roll game, and the hand-off game, the two-man game … he is a good guy rolling to the rim and finishing. Defensively … he can guard a lot of positions.”

Curry spoke as well about this other Aussie teammate, Patty Mills who re-signed with the Nets for two years and $14.2 million.

“Patty has been around for the last few months here in Brooklyn – [he’s] a great leader [with] a lot of energy,” Curry told the two newspapers. “Obviously, [he’s] a veteran and I am trying to learn as much as I can from him. We had some good moments last season, especially when guys were injured at the end of the regular season.”

Curry said he’s looking forward to the Australia promotion and that with all the Australians on the Nets roster and staff, he has pulled together a list of things to do.

“I am trying to do as much as possible. We have got a lot of Australians on our staff with the Nets and a couple of teammates – they have given me a couple of good things to check out,” Curry said.