Are Kevin Durant, other Nets frustrated with Ben Simmons?


Saying it's been a bad start to the Brooklyn Nets' season would be an understatement.

Following a drama-filled offseason, the Nets started 2-6 and have already fired their head coach.

Making matters worse, Kyrie Irving has been at the center of an off-court controversy after he promoted an antisemitic film on social media last week. The Nets suspended Irving for at least five games on Thursday for his failure to "disavow antisemitism" in the aftermath of the posts (Irving finally apologized hours after the suspension).

While the Irving situation has dominated the headlines, Adrian Wojnarowski seemed to reveal another issue for Brooklyn on Friday. The ESPN NBA insider said he thinks Ben Simmons has been "a source of frustration" for Kevin Durant and other Nets players in the early part of the season.

"I think [Ben Simmons has] been a source of frustration for Kevin Durant, for others on the Nets so far because now he's unable to stay on the floor with a knee injury, but prior to that, he has shown that he is a long way away from being back to an impactful player," Wojnarowski said on "NBA Today." "I think it's a big part of the reason why the Nets are at the very bottom of the league defensively. This team was built and reconstructed around the idea that Ben Simmons would have to play a really significant role for this team, especially on the defensive end, especially rebounding the basketball and certainly facilitating on offense."

Simmons is set to miss his fourth straight game on Saturday due to a left knee injury. And while he was on the court for the first six games, he looked far from the player who received three All-Star nods with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 26-year-old averaged 6.2 points, along with 6.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists, on just 5.7 field goal attempts and 2.5 free throw attempts per game.

Simmons, who finished second in 2020-21 Defensive Player of the Year voting, hasn't made a substantial impact on the defensive end of the floor, either. The Nets entered Friday with the NBA's worst defensive rating.

Think Durant is having any regrets about rescinding his trade request?

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