Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons says he is ready to lead his team to a deep post-season run once the NBA season resumes.
Simmons has used his time during the NBA shutdown to return to full health heading into the season restart In Orlando.
“I’m feeling even better than I was when I started the season,” Simmons told reporters on a conference call this week.
“I’ve been working since I had the injury, working until now to prepare for whatever happens, wherever we go. I’m feeling great. I’ve been rehabbing this whole time, so I’m feeling ready. And I’m feeling very comfortable.”
The NBA season was suspended on March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Simmons hasn’t played since suffering a nerve impingement in his lower back against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 22.
The Australian says he’s spent his time off improving his fitness with pilates as well as lifting weights in order to get his body back to 100% and is confident he’ll be ready to have an immediate impact in Orlando.
“I feel a lot more in control when I’m out there on the floor,” Simmons added. “I know what I’m capable of with my body and it just feels very good and overall I feel like I’m back to 100 percent and it’s a good feeling.”
22 teams will head to Orlando for the season restart in the Disney World hub, with the 76ers set to travel to Florida on July 9. There are some concerns surrounding the health safety of players in the bubble, Simmons is confident the NBA has done everything they can to protect the players.
“I trust in the NBA and in those older vets like [LeBron James] and like [Chris Paul] who are ready to go down there,” Simmons said.
“Also, this is our job. I believe strongly that personally, I don’t have any problems with people who want to sit out. Everybody’s personal stuff is different, so I can’t speak on anybody else, but personally, for me, I want to get out there and play.
“Wherever my team is, I feel like it’s my responsibility to go down there and represent Philadelphia in the highest way possible, and I think this is the right way to do it. If we’re safe down there, and I trust in what the NBA is doing, and they’re taking extreme precautions with this. So I feel like if we’re all going, I’m in. I’m with my teammates and I never would want them to go down and not expect to see me there. So I’m all-in with my team.”
The first game of the 76ers’ restart will be against the Indiana Pacers on August 2.