Kevin Durant revealed there was one play where Ben Simmons looked at him and indirectly asked him why he didn't shoot the ball. After seeing that reaction from Simmons, Durant was extremely happy because that meant that Simmons was fully physically and mentally into the game.
Simmons, who didn't suit up for the Nets in a single game last season, made his Nets debut at the start of this season. Simmons hasn't been brilliant so far this season but in recent games he has shown some signs of improvement.
“Joe missed the shot and I look up and Ben was like ‘Dunk the f------ ball! That’s the type of s--- I like though. You’re into the game, you’re seeing it. Once you’re into it mentally and emotionally like that, then I know you’re ready to play," Durant said.
This clip of KD talking about Ben Simmons yelling at him after he passed up a backdoor dunk in Portland is hilarious:
“Joe missed the shot and I look up and Ben was like ‘Dunk the f***ing ball!’. ”
Simmons' mindset has done a complete 180.
Durant on Simmons' performance in Philadelphia
On Tuesday, the Nets suffered a 115-106 loss to the 76ers. In his first game in Philadelphia as a member of the Nets, Simmons actually played well as he scored 11 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed seven rebounds.
Throughout the entire game, 76ers fans were chanting "F--- Ben Simmons." "There's a lot of emotions. You just want to play well. We know the fans are going to be involved and get excited -- not get excited, but just bring their best.
But that's in every arena. Everybody wants to see our team fail. Nobody likes Ben, nobody likes Ky, nobody likes myself, so it might be like that at every road arena. So it's just something we got to deal with. But I thought [Simmons] did a great job of just handling it and playing his game, and we had chances to win, but we just didn't," Durant said of Simmons.
When asked about Simmons being heckled in Philadelphia, Durant said trash talk and heckling was a common part of the game. "I think they all just had a lot of great memories with Ben and they don't like how it ended. They feel like they're part of the team, they're part of the league, so fans want to be heard.
The last decade in the NBA a lot of fans have been heard with social and just how we highlight the fans nowadays. You got to appreciate both sides. That's part of the game. I think Ben understands that. We all understand that. The fans really respect us as men, but there's a part of sports [that includes] heckling, being targeted out there. It's all a part of it," Durant explained.