Report: Ben Simmons refusing Sixers mental help
The disgruntled point guard has been working with mental health professionals through the National Basketball Players Associations instead of Sixers team doctors since this summer.
Ben Simmons’ refusal to accept the 76ers’ assistance to address his mental readiness to play is frustrating the organization.
Simmons has been receiving treatment from team doctors for a back ailment. But he has been unwilling to meet with Sixers doctors to discuss his mental readiness, according to ESPN. The disgruntled point guard has been working instead with mental health professionals through the National Basketball Players Association since this summer. He has not shared details of those meetings with the Sixers, according to the report.
Simmons has yet to rejoin the team in full-team activities at the Sixers’ practice facilities. In addition to receiving treatment, he’s participated in individual shooting drills.
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The point guard 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.
The next day, Simmons informed the Sixers he was not mentally ready to play. As a result, they had to stop fining him due to a provision in the NBA collective bargaining agreement that protects players’ salaries for not rendering services if it is because of a mental disability.
Simmons told the Sixers in August that he wanted to be traded and refused to attend training camp. Even though he’s back with the team, sources close to the player have said he’s stated he will never play for the Sixers again.