The Brooklyn Nets have grown increasingly frustrated as an organization over Ben Simmons' availability to play in game, and his level of play when he does play. Some within the Nets organization have questioned Simmons' passion for the game.

Simmons missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season, while recovering from a back injury, as well as mental health challenges that prevented him from taking the court. This continued even after Simmons was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Nets.

Brooklyn has begun bringing Simmons off the bench, in a pseudo-backup center role. This change in role came after Simmons missed nearly a week after having fluid drained from his left knee.

Simmons said he understands the frustrations with him missing time, but that no one should question his commitment.

“You’re obviously not gonna be happy when anybody’s out,” Simmons said. “But for me, I’ve been dealing with the knee since the start of the season. It’s been swollen. I had PRP. I had blood drained a couple times. So, it’s not a made-up thing, you know? It’s a real thing.

“I get (the skepticism), but I think the one thing with me is that I’m a competitor. I want to win and play. So, I’m gonna do what I can to get out there.”