Ben Simmons had a rough first season with the Nets and it was reflected in his relationship with head coach Jacque Vaughn.
The 27-year-old was battling multiple ailments that included recovering from major back surgery.
Because of this, Simmons struggled on the court and was berated by the media for it.
Vaughn also found the situation to be quite frustrating.
But the head coach has turned a corner and realised he was expecting too much of Simmons during the 2022-23 season.
“At that time, I was at a place where, as a coach, I’m always gonna have a standard, and that standard is of what I expect guys on the team to do, how we want them to play and ask them to do things for the sake of the team,” Vaughn said.
“I think Ben’s and I’s relationship is in such a good place right now because we’ve been able to talk through that moment of our lives where I expected him to do things that I’ve come to understand physically he wasn’t able to do. I think at that time, you kept hearing me talk about force, and those things and how I wanted him to play.”
He went on to explain how he and Simmons’ relationship has improved out of sight.
“Now (I’ve had) a revelation where I’ve seen the work he’s put in, where he was at, some of those things have been revealed to me, and I think that’s why our relationship is at a really good place right now. The things that I’m asking him to do going forward, I think he can physically do now. And so, it does put us in a position where I can use multiple lineups and put different people around him so we can have success on both ends of the floor.”
Simmons’ camp and the Nets are reporting that he will be healthy and ready to go for the upcoming season.
Vaughn said that the former All-Star has been playing five-on-five and will have an expanded role on offense if he can stay healthy.