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Eastern Conference

76ers’ Ben Simmons Says He’s ‘Ready to go’

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The Philadelphia 76ers have plenty to be excited about for this upcoming NBA regular season and Ben Simmons, who will be finally embarking on his rookie season, is adding more fuel to that fire.

During the Sixers media day on Monday, Simmons stated emphatically that he is “100 percent” while also stating that he is ready to become a leader this season.

In fact, Simmons said he is “ready to go” with no restrictions adding that missing all of last season due to injury “was frustrating to start, but it was a great opportunity for me to learn.”

“One hundred percent, cleared to play and I’ve just been working out, playing five-on-five pickup. So just back to where I was before and a whole lot better now” Simmons said.

76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo said Simmons “has all the tools to be a great player in this game.”

Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown said that he plans to play Simmons at point guard this season.

“It feels normal to me,” Simmons said about the team’s plans for him.

“He’s the first coach to finally give me the opportunity. He obviously sees something in me. I believe in myself and I believe I can do it. There’s not many people who can really guard me off the dribble, the full length of the court. It’s going to be a mismatch problem a lot of the time.”

Colangelo said that having this year’s No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz and Simmons “in the same boat” this season is “not dissimilar to what we had last year.”

“Multiple candidates for Rookie of the Year, finding a balance to all of that. I’ve said it before, it’s almost unfair to load up a coach with those kind of issues, but hopefully everyone will look at this as an opportunity to put team first and sacrifice what’s required to make us a better basketball team,” Colangelo said.

Eastern Conference

Sixers’ Jimmy Butler Says It’s Not All About the Money, Says He is a Good Teammate

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Despite a tumultuous end to his tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler is excited to show the Philadelphia 76ers what a good teammate he can be, saying this he is not chasing a big contract next offseason.

“It’s not. I already got enough money to have me and my family for the rest of my life. It’s not about the money,” Butler said during his 76ers introductory press conference,according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I’ve got to be able to love where I’m at and have a great chance to win a championship.”

Butler also stated that despite the drama in Minnesota, he is a good teammate.

“I don’t think I’m a bad teammate, but people get whatever they want to say out,” Butler continued. “I think I’m an incredible human being, teammate, and I will show that to the guys here.

“You really wouldn’t know who I am unless you’re around me every day,” Butler added. “And for the most part, that’s why I don’t worry too much about what everybody says. If you know me and you’re around me, you know my heart. You know how I go about what I go about.

“I love my teammates,” Butler said. “I don’t think there are too many of them that will tell you I’m a bad teammate.”

Butler’s stay in Philly will be interesting to see unfold, and it will be interesting to see if Butler ends up inking a long term contract with the Sixers next summer.

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Brooklyn Nets

Nets’ Kenny Atkinson Discusses Caris LeVert’s Injury

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One of the unfortunate headlines to come out of the NBA on Tuesday night was the brutal injury sustained by Brooklyn Nets top scorer Caris LeVert, who suffered a gruesome right leg injury with 0.3 seconds remaining in the first half after trying to contain a Josh Okogie drive during their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

LeVert had to be stretchered off the court, and the injury left many players and fans covering their faces and emotional as they watched him receive medical attention on the court.

“He’s the heart and soul of our program,” Atkinson said, according to Greg Logan of Newsday. “Really tough blow. I feel for him. He’s had a fantastic start to the season. He’s obviously made a huge jump. I just know Caris — if anybody’s coming back from this, knowing the human, the character, the person, the player, he’ll come back from this. Tough, tough blow for the Nets.”

“Our only thoughts are with him. Nothing else matters. The game doesn’t matter tonight. That’s it.”

Teammates such as Nets’ point guard DeAngelo Russell also commented on the injury.

“I saw right away what it was and tried to erase it from memory as soon as I could, but it doesn’t work like that,” Russell said. “It’s something that hurts. It’s hard to speak about.

“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but for us to see our brother go down that we practice with every day, that we’re on flights with every day, it’s devastating to the stomach. We can put up our prayers for him and step up and try to build off of it.”

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Eastern Conference

Sixers’ Brett Brown Believes Jimmy Butler Will Put Team ‘Amongst Royalty for a While’

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Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown is excited for the debut of recently acquired All-Star forward Jimmy Butler on Wednesday, and believes the addition of the fiery scorer will vault the team into a new stratosphere in the NBA.

“Maybe [Butler is] the first move in the new reality that our goal is to build for a championship, and play in the NBA Finals, and continue to be an annual — and that’s always the hardest thing — contender” Browns said, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I think we are building a core, truly, with their ages, that is going to have the ability to do that. We are going to have the ability to do that for a while now.

“We’ll be amongst royalty for a while now. So if you refer to that as sort of the first phase of the legitimate process, I think that’s fair.”

Butler will team with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to form a formidable Big 3 in the Eastern Conference for what the Sixers hope will be for many years to come.

 

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