ben simmons nets
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Ben Simmons gave us a classic moment during the Nets’ preseason opener Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. He wasn’t thinking about that after the game, though.

When asked how he felt following his first official game since June of 2021, here’s what Simmons had to say:

After such a long layoff, which included physical injuries and mental health challenges, this feels like the perfect kind of response from the point guard. It’s been a while since he’s done what he loves to do. While I have no idea what the extent of his mental health challenges were, he may have also wondered if he’d ever be in the right headspace to play at a high level again.

So, yea — I’d feel amazing and grateful if I was in his situation, too.

We did poke fun at Ben Simmons and his jumper, but he had some solid moments, too. Like his first bucket of the preseason, which was this dunk in transition:

He also showed off his passing ability. One was this missile to Royce O’Neale and another was this:

Outside of that one fadeaway jumper that didn’t go well and two missed free throws, Simmons had a decent night on the court. In 19 minutes, he scored six points with four rebounds, five assists, and one steal. Not bad for his first game back in what feels like forever.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.