For more than a year, many things have been said about Ben Simmons — but none of them had to do with his performances, as he hadn't been on a basketball court since the 2020-21 NBA playoffs. 

The wait came to an end on Monday night, when the Australian suited up for the Brooklyn Nets for the first time since being traded from the Philadelphia 76ers in February. His first appearance, ironically against his former team, came in a preseason match that ended in a 108-127 loss for Steve Nash's team.

Simmons had spent 470 days without playing a basketball game, going through different problems that kept him on the sidelines. However, the three-time All-Star seems to have left all of that behind him as he's happy to be back on the floor and to finally be available for Brooklyn after so long.

Ben Simmons speaks up on playing first game for Nets since the trade

“Amazing. I’m grateful just to be able to step on a NBA floor again," Simmons said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. "I had a lot of fun out there. I thought I’d be nervous, but I wasn’t nervous: I was excited. To have that feeling to be able to come out and know you’re going to play on a NBA floor especially at Barclays with some great players, it’s excitement.

“It was fun messing up because I know how good we can be. And seeing different looks and opportunities there and working with Kevin and Ky and Joe [Harris], seeing where they want the ball and how things are going to work in the flow. The only way you’re going to learn is by making mistakes. So I had a few out there. I can go and watch film and say I know what I did wrong and how to fix that. It’s all a learning process for me, so it’s good.” 

The result may have not been the best, but it doesn't matter that much at this stage of the year. What the Nets care about is that they finally have their Big Three ready to go. With Simmons back, Kyrie Irving available from the beginning and Kevin Durant finally staying, Brooklyn has reasons to dream big.