Wednesday was the primary time in 16 months that he had performed in a significant basketball sport, and he appeared positively effervescent.

Ben Simmons smiled and chuckled about the best way he had been appearing all day.

“I feel I used to be simply too excited, truthfully,” he stated Wednesday evening at Barclays Heart. “It was simply nice to be on the market.”

Simmons scored solely 4 factors and fouled out, maybe a performance of his enthusiasm and his workforce misplaced, 130-108, to the New Orleans Pelicans within the N.B.A. season opener for each group.

He was a bit rusty having missed all of the final season with psychological and bodily well-being issues, beginning in Philadelphia earlier than he was traded to Brooklyn.

Kevin Durant continues to be in the workforce. Kyrie Irving needs to be obtainable all season. And now Simmons is wholesome.

His availability is emblematic of the place the Nets discover themselves first of this season.

This season may provide a closing phrase on what the Durant-Irving Nets might be and the way they reply to the stress of getting the items in place to be actual contenders.

The 2020-21 season was brief, however the Nets completed it with the second-best file within the Jap Convention.

James Harden had joined them by commerce in January. They misplaced the convention semifinals in seven video games to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.

Pelicans ahead Zion Williamson, like Simmons, returned after lacking all of the final season, in his case with a foot harm.

Durant led all scorers with 32 factors, making 11 of 21 shots, with 4 blocks, a steal, two assists and three rebounds.