By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Finally, the NLEX Road Warriors found a replacement for outgoing import and former NBA star Jonathan Simmons.
After days of finding someone who has the same caliber as Simmons, the Road Warriors will be bringing in another hooper with NBA experience in Wayne Selden Jr.
NLEX head coach Frankie Lim confirmed the development last February 1, 2023, adding that Selden Jr. is set to arrive in the Philippines any day this week.
Like Simmons, Selden Jr. also spent some time with the NBA after signing with the Memphis Grizzlies in October 2016.
He was eventually shipped to the New Orleans Pelicans a year after but again returned to the Grizzlies and had his best years in the big boys’ league from 2017-2019.
Selden Jr. was a savvy scorer for the Grizzlies and was a valuable member off the bench during Memphis’ “grit and grind” era together with Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Tony Allen.
NLEX had to find a replacement after Simmons said that he will only be playing two more games before heading back to China.
Simmons’ debut for the Road Warriors was nearly a failed negotiation after the NLEX management bared that the ex-San Antonio Spurs shooting guard had a waiting offer from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and failed to get clearance from the league.
Coach Lim and the Road Warriors even said that they were ready to go to battle with an All-Filipino lineup but fortunately, Simmons was able to get approval to play in the PBA.
The Road Warriors are currently undefeated with Simmons in the lineup, lifting the team to huge wins over the NorthPort Batang Pier and the Blackwater Bossing.