Jonathan Simmons played his last game as an NLEX Road Warrior on Saturday.
Replacing Simmons is another former NBA pro in Wayne Selden.
Selden is a 6’5” winger who is a product of University of Kansas.
Despite going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, the 28-year-old native of Boston, Massachusetts still had a stellar six-year run in the league.
Selden played a total of 127 games in his stops with Memphis, New Orleans, Chicago, and New York, putting up career numbers of 7.2 points, 1.99 rebounds, and 1.49 assists per game.
He also made stops in Israel (Ironi Nes Ziona), Turkey (Afyonkarahisar Belediye and Manisa Buyuksehir Belediye), and Italy (Tezenis Scaligera Verona).
“We are officially announcing that Wayne Selden will replace Jonathon Simmons as our import for the ongoing 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup,” said NLEX team manager Larry Fonacier.
“There were bumps in the road just to get him here but finally, he has arrived. We are hoping that Wayne can sustain the momentum that we have,” continued Fonacier.
“Nakita naman natin how Simms plays. From what I know, si Wayne is a scorer. But with another game on Wednesday against Ginebra, we will give him a crash course on how we run things in the next two days,” added NLEX head coach Frankie Lim.
Simmons played in the first four games of the conference, helping the Road Warriors beat Blackwater (124-102), Northport (121-112), TNT (110-108), and Phoenix Super LPG (98-84) for a perfect start.
However, Simmons was made an offer he can’t refuse by Chinese Basketball Association team Shanxi.
“Kind of sad, though, you know. But [there’s] a lot of money on the table, and I’m a family guy,” said Simmons about not being able to finish the conference with NLEX. “It’s more about providing for my family at this point. I’m 33, so I have a short window left to play basketball.”
“As a basketball player myself, we know that we only have a short amount of time to play professionally. When Simms told us about it, it definitely put a wrench in our plans but his future as a professional player is what matters most to our organization,” said Fonacier.
Looking back on his stint, Simmons will look back on his time with NLEX with only a smile, saying that it is one of the best-run organizations he has played in.
“Of course, probably top five best teams I’ve played in my career. Everyone made it easy for me to be on the team. Just a great group of guys,” said Simmons, who had stints with NBA’s San Antonio and Orlando; G League’s Austin and Santa Cruz; and CBA’s Liaoning and Shanxi.
Selden is expected to debut on Wednesday, February 8 when the Road Warriors take on Ginebra San Miguel at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.