The Ben Simmons saga in Philadelphia took another major step on Friday.
According to reports from ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the All-Star point guard met with 76ers’ medical professionals and head coach Doc Rivers this morning to inform them that he’s “not mentally ready to play to his expectations.”
He also reportedly spoke with his teammates about the situation.
Ben Simmons met with Sixers' medical professionals and coach Doc Rivers today and informed them that he's not mentally ready to play to his expectations now, sources tell ESPN. He also talked to his teammates today.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 22, 2021
Simmons was suspended for the Sixers’ season opener after he was kicked out of practice for “conduct detrimental to the team” earlier this week. Yesterday, he showed up to team facilities complaining about “back tightness,” but was cleared to participate in workouts anyways.
Despite being cleared, he left the facilities without joining his team in practice.
According to reports from Philadelphia broadcaster Howard Eskin, the Sixers believe Simmons is “faking injury and mental illness” and is “livid” that he went down that road.
With the way Simmons has handled himself over the past few months, plenty of people from around the NBA world aren’t buying this excuse.
Taking a play out of Kyrie’s playbook. He’s never going to be “mentally ready”. He can’t even get himself mentally prepared to shoot a basketball. And as a teammate, I’d want him to kick rocks. Stop showing up for just a paycheck when your clearly not a teammate. https://t.co/e0enwyzCg5
— Stevie “Jenko” Jenkins (@StevieJenko) October 22, 2021
What Ben Simmons is doing by claiming mental stress mocks all those athletes – and everyone – who has shown the strength to come forward with genuine mental health issues.
— Glen Macnow (@RealGlenMacnow) October 21, 2021
Lying about suffering from a mental illness so you don't have to play basketball would be a bad look, if true. https://t.co/tnfsdDYSxE
— Weston Blasi (@westonblasi) October 22, 2021
Mental illness is a serious issue in the NBA world.
With that in mind, others are electing to give Simmons the benefit of the doubt — hoping he gets the help he needs moving forward.
OK, now I hope he gets some help if this is truly a mental block or issue. https://t.co/2mj7gGnuam
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) October 22, 2021
Don’t think anyone is dumb enough to fake any type mental health issues so this changes the narrative (for me at least)…first step is accepting that you need help, second step is getting it. Go get help, comeback when ready https://t.co/GaB3FHuWXZ
— Brian Rogers (@BRoger_Dat) October 22, 2021
After the comments Doc & Embiid made after game 7, how can you blame him? Pretty dirty to use Ben as scapegoat for another a Doc playoff choke job https://t.co/IdMEUqAZAA
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) October 22, 2021
Since Simmons first requested a trade three months ago, the Sixers have yet to get close to completing a deal. In fact, team president Daryl Morey said he would be willing to wait out the next four years of his point guard’s contract if he’s unable to get an All-Star caliber player in return.
With Simmons now on the sideline for the foreseeable future, raising his trade value will be near impossible.
The Sixers will face off against the Brooklyn Nets in their home opener later this evening.