To say that Ben Simmons' tenure with the Brooklyn Nets has been surrounded by controversy would be an understatement. This is besides the fact that the former Rookie of the Year hasn't even played a single minute for his new team.
One of the most contentious moments of Simmons' time with the Nets transpired during the playoffs last season. With the Nets facing elimination in the first round against the Boston Celtics, there was a lot of hope building up with regard to Simmons potentially making his debut. In the end, however, the 26-year-old ended up sitting out the entire series as he watched his team get swept from the sidelines.
Apparently, ahead of Game 4 of the Celtics series, Simmons' teammates asked him straight up if he intended to play. This conversation went down in the team's group chat, which apparently, Simmons left after he was confronted with the question about his availability. Unsurprisingly, Simmons' virtual walk-out led to a rather unsavory reaction from Nets superstar Kevin Durant (h/t Jonathan Sherman of AHN Fire Digital):
“They’re having a team chat before Game 4, thinking he’s going to play against the Boston Celtics,” Bucher said. “From what I’m told, Ben just left the chat. They asked him, ‘Are you going to play?’ Ben left the chat. Like he didn’t even answer the question, just left the chat. And K.D. (Kevin Durant) is like, ‘This is what I signed up for? This is who I’m playing with?’”
Simmons did not only refuse to answer the question, but he decided to leave the chat group completely. That's clearly taking a step too far, and it speaks volumes of the former Philadelphia 76ers star's maturity level — or lack thereof. This is, of course, under the assumption that Bucher's sources are accurate here.
It's no surprise that Durant reacted the way he did after Simmons' inexplicable move. In fact, it also wouldn't be a complete shock to learn that KD's trade demand also had a lot to do with not wanting to play with Ben Simmons.