Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills says Ben Simmons looks "hungry" as he can't wait to make his Nets debut. After being introduced as a Net, Simmons revealed he wasn't feeling like himself in Philadelphia and he wanted to get back to feeling himself and just being happy.
"I see a real hunger-ness from him," Mills said, per ESPN. "His demeanor and his desire not only to get back on the floor but make a significant impact -- he's got a lot of, I believe, fire built up underneath him that has a desire to get back and be the player that he is, and even get better, and even grow and even develop.
And that's one thing that I'm excited to be in the same room and locker room as him to do my part to help him develop and help him grow and help in any way possible there." Simmons didn't suit up in any games for the 76ers this season as he cited his mental health as the primary reason for his absence.
"I think just his mojo, his energy," Mills said. "Being in this environment, being with us, spirits are high. I think he can feel the energy of the group and where we're at at the moment and where we're trying to be.
So he just slides right in there right now -- obviously making him feel as welcome as we can be. It's exciting time for him, I'm sure, after some time off. But exciting for us to add the pieces to our puzzle of obviously achieving our goal."
Mills, SImmons and Co. want the title
The Nets have had a season full of ups and downs but they are hoping for much more stability once Simmons makes his debut and Kevin Durant returns from an injury break. Mills is optimistic the Nets, who own a 31-27 record, can win it all this season.
"Because I think we have guys on the team -- that desire, genuine desire, to win a championship is strong," Mills said. "So that doesn't waver. Is there adversity along the way? Does it get blurry a little bit? Sure, sometimes.
But I think that the players that we have in the locker room, that end goal of what we're trying to get to doesn't change. And we use all of those adversities to be able to build the character of each individual in the locker room that will build the character of the team.
"So we're starting to get our identity of who we want to be on and off the court. We stay strong together as a group, and I think with everything that has gone on we've become closer as a group because of it. But that end goal hasn't changed for us, and I think that's because of the winners we have in the locker room and the type of people we have."