Ben Simmons reportedly told 76ers he's dealing with back tightness amid standoff
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons is reportedly dealing with back tightness after getting kicked out of practice Tuesday. Simmons reportedly told the 76ers he was dealing with the injury Thursday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The situation escalated Tuesday, when Simmons was kicked out of practice for reportedly refusing to take part in a drill. The 76ers were not scheduled to practice Thursday, but Simmons was expected to take part in an individual workout. He did not, instead telling the team he was injured. The 76ers staff checked Simmons out and reportedly told him he was good to participate in workouts after he received treatment.
The Ben Simmons standoff keeps finding new ways to get uglier.
Two weeks after the Philadelphia 76ers point guard said he was mentally unready to play again, ESPN reports the team has grown increasingly frustrated with Simmons' refusal to accept any help on that front.
Simmons has reportedly worked with the Sixers' doctors to treat a back ailment, another reason provided for his absence from the court, but he has been unwilling to meet with team doctors to discuss his mental readiness.
Instead of working with the team's staff, Simmons has reportedly been working with mental health professionals through the National Basketball Players Association since the summer. He has reportedly yet to provide the team with any details from those meetings.
76ers president Daryl Morey on Ben Simmons standoff: ‘This could be four years’
76ers president Daryl Morey said of the Ben Simmons situation, "People should buckle in. This is going to go a long time."That seemed like an important warning. The daily drama Simmons invites can be exhausting. The NBA trade deadline is more than five months away.
Simmons' camp apparently told ESPN they expect to update the team on the player's progress "once he is comfortable doing so."
Ben Simmons-Sixers relationship remains a mess
If you had to pick a low point in Simmons' and the Sixers' back-and-forth over the last month, "publicly airing grievances over how a player is receiving therapy" would be a strong contender.
Some other solid picks would be "turning away teammates trying to extend an olive branch," "withholding 25 percent of a $33 million salary," "getting called out by Joel Embiid on media day," "Donald Trump comparisons," "practicing with a cell phone in pocket," "one-game suspension" and "putting up $5 million South Jersey home for sale."
It hasn't been a good month for either side.
Sixers drop home opener to Nets as offense goes dark late
The Sixers were ahead for most of the night, but their offense couldn’t buy a bucket late vs. the Nets.After being in front for most of the game, the Sixers let up an 11-1 run to close the game and lost to the Nets, 114-109, at the Wells Fargo Center Friday night. It felt eerily similar to how a few of the games in the Atlanta series ended a few months ago.
Simmons made it quite clear he doesn't want to play for the Sixers again, but then Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey made it quite clear that he had no plans to trade Simmons without getting comparable value back (unlike, say, teams with other Klutch clients). The result is a player reporting to a team with seemingly little intention of playing for that team, and so now stuff like this is happening.
ESPN reports the Sixers stopped fining Simmons once he informed them he wasn't mentally ready to play on Oct. 22, likely due to a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that protects a player's salary if his inability to play is "caused by the player's mental disability."
In a statement, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts defended Simmons after he said he wasn't mentally ready.
“Really? Is it so hard to believe that Ben’s not mentally at a place to compete? Professional athletes — like the rest of us — have difficult periods in our lives that require time and energy to heal. We have and will continue to provide Ben with the support and resources he needs to work through this. Threatening the prospect of 'another four years' serves no one’s interests. Like Tobias [Harris], I say let’s respect Ben’s space and embrace him while allowing him the time to move forward.
"So, take a breath and count to 10: We are all too good to continue to play this perpetual game of chicken.”
Report: Ben Simmons tells 76ers names of his mental-health professionals, doesn’t grant team full access to info .
The 76ers have on and off and back on again fined Ben Simmons. © Provided by NBC Sports All all the while, he keeps telling the team he isn’t mentally ready to play. Shams Charania of The Athletic: Simmons is also receiving help from mental health professionals, a process he began during the offseason, according to sources. Sources added that Simmons has informed the franchise for months that he is not feeling mentally ready, but that the organization has insisted on attempts to get him to play again.