Ben Simmons has met a 76ers-recommended specialist to discuss his mental issues, a source has confirmed.
This comes after Simmons had previously been unwilling to meet with the Sixers’ doctors to discuss his mental readiness. ESPN was first to report the news.
The disgruntled point guard had been working instead with mental-health professionals through the National Basketball Players Association since this summer. The Sixers fined Simmons $360,000 for failure to play in Thursday’s game against the Detroit Pistons and refusal to accept the team’s assistance to address his mental readiness to play.
The team also reinstated a series of other fines later last week, according to reports.
Simmons had been fined close to $2 million for missing five games (four exhibitions), practices, and meetings. Coach Doc Rivers even kicked Simmons out of practice on Oct. 19 for not engaging and refusing to participate in an on-court drill. On Oct. 22, Simmons complained of back tightness ahead of a scheduled individual workout at the practice facility. Even after being treated and cleared to work out, he left the practice facility without participating in drills.
Simmons has yet to participate in full-team activities at the Sixers’ practice facilities. In addition to receiving treatment, he’s participated in individual shooting drills.
Maxey remains a workhouse
Tyrese Maxey lived by the motto “No Days Off” last season.
Back then, Maxey received inconsistent minutes as the 76ers’ reserve combo guard. So he made a habit of working out at the Sixers practice facility on off days. The second-year veteran is now the starting point guard, logging a team-leading 34.7 minutes per game.
“I still come in,” Maxey said after Monday’s shootaround. “Danny Green, yesterday, I came in ... I was on the court for about 15 minutes, and he came in, took the basketballs away, and said, ‘Go home.’ ”
Green told Maxey that he needed to get some rest. The 13-year veteran knew Maxey needed to recover after the Sixers played three games in the last four days. His workload isn’t about to get lighter.
The Sixers have home games against the New York Knicks on Monday and the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday. Then after an off day Wednesday, they’ll entertain the Toronto Raptors on Thursday before embarking on a six-game road trip.
“But I still come in,” Maxey said. “I know I have to touch the basketball, see it go through the net. It just makes me feel better, feel good inside.”