Bobby Simmons, who's averaged 9.4 points in nine NBA seasons, hopes to continue his NBA career after the lockout ends.
Simmons, 31, was waived by the San Antonio Spurs after playing two games last season. He finished his season in the NBA Development League.
"I wouldn't necessarily say [the D-League was] humbling because I played in the D-League before," Simmons said Monday night. "It's a matter of me wanting to play. It wasn't about the money or anything. I just wanted to play basketball. That's what it's always been about. The money has been a blessing."
It's that reason Simmons believes other NBA players are now opting to play overseas, although he said it wasn't a viable option for him because he has business ventures in Chicago.
"Guys want to play," Simmons said. "That's the main thing. When the owners see that, guys just want to play basketball, but we can't just take anything [in the collective bargaining agreement.]
"For our union, everyone's sticking together and staying positive. We're going to make the best decision possible for not only myself as a veteran, but the young guys behind us."
Simmons was voted the league's most improved player after averaging a career-high 16.4 points in the 2004-05 season for the Los Angeles Clippers. He landed a five-year, $47 million deal after that season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
"In workouts at the end of [last] season, I was able to showcase that I am in shape," Simmons said. "I am a guy who can still play.
"As far as moving forward as a veteran, if the teams needs leadership, I'm willing to provide that."
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.