National Basketball Association stars Ben Simmons, 26, of Australia and Yuta Watanabe, 28, of Japan joined the Brooklyn Nets on February 10, 2022 and on August 28, 2022, respectively. The Australian basketball player played for the Philadelphia 76ers from October 18, 2017 to October 11, 2021.
Simmons was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his back on March 21, 2022 and he underwent back surgery on May 5, 2022. When he made his 2022-2023 NBA preseason debut on October 3, 2022 as a Brooklyn Nets player, he put up six points, five assists and four rebounds in a 127–108 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
On October 19, 2022, Simmons made his regular 2022-2023 NBA season debut. He put up four points, five rebounds and five assists before fouling out in a 130–108 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
On November 20, 2022, Simmons put up 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a 127-115 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. On November 23, 2022, the Brooklyn Nets will face the Philadelphia 76ers again at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.
“One thing about Philly fans is they are incredible,” ESPN quoted Simmons as saying. “They are die-hard Philly and they are everything Philly, whatever it is. I respect that about the city.”
“It’s a sports town,” Simmons said of Philadelphia. “I was talking to I think Yuta before the game about what it’s like to play in Philly and it’s an incredible opportunity to put on whatever jersey it is.”
Simmons attended Box Hill Senior Secondary College in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia then transferred to Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida, USA. Watanabe attended Jinsei Gakuen High School in Zentsūji, Kagawa, Japan then transferred to St. Thomas More Preparatory School in Oakdale, Connecticut, USA.
Currently, Watanabe has a 57.1% three-point percentage and an effective field goal percentage of 76.6%. This makes him first-overall in three point percentage and second in effective field goal percentage.