Friday, January 28 2022
Getty Images

We have another update on the long-running saga between the Philadelphia 76ers and All-Star guard Ben Simmons. The Sixers have fined Simmons for skipping the team’s six-game road trip — which begins on Tuesday night against the Utah Jazzaccording to Shams Charania of The Athletic

Most recently, the two sides have been in dispute over Simmons’ readiness to play. He has told the team that he does not feel mentally ready to come back, and has been seeking help from mental health professionals in conjunction with the players union. The Sixers, however, wanted him to consult with a team-appointed mental health specialist and contended he has not been forthcoming with details of his treatment. Simmons ultimately decided to meet with said specialists after pressure from the organization. 

Simmons’ agent Rich Paul recently criticized the Sixers for how they’ve handled the situation. 

“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue — that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben,” Paul said. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?

“In this case, we have to get Ben help and not put finances above mental health,” Paul continued. “As an agent, I understand contractual obligations and I hold myself accountable in this business. But if someone is telling you something, we can no longer turn a blind eye in today’s world.”

In an effort to force a trade, Simmons staged a hold out during the early portion of training camp. As a result, the team withheld the $8.25 million he was due to be paid on Oct. 1 per the terms of his contract, which was front-loaded this year. They then fined him for missing the team’s first two preseason games. 

After that, Simmons reluctantly returned to Philadelphia in what was pretty clearly a financially motivated decision. Once he cleared health and safety protocols, he practiced with the team but was almost immediately kicked out for refusing to participate in a drill. A few days after being sent home from practice is when he told the team he was not in the right place mentally to play.

A clause in the league’s collective bargaining agreement protects players’ salary for failing to render services “if such failure has been caused by the player’s mental disability.” As a result, the team stopped fining Simmons for missing practices and games. But because of the dispute over Simmons’ treatment, the team resumed the monetary penalties on Nov. 5. 

This most recent fine for skipping the road trip shows that the two sides are a long way from any sort of working relationship. Simmons doesn’t want to play for the team, and the Sixers don’t want to trade him for less than they think he’s worth. As such, this stalemate will likely continue for the foreseeable future. 



Trail Blazers vs. Raptors: How to watch, schedule, live stream info, game time, TV channel


Game Recap: Suns 99, Timberwolves 96

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

PHT Morning Skate: Flyers’ want to ‘aggressively retool’; Lundqvist on Fallon

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports. • It’s more of plan to “aggressively retool” than a rebuild for the Flyers. [NBC Sports Philadelphia] • Jeff Carter signs a two-year extension with the […]

Read More

United States men’s national soccer team Concacaf World Cup qualifier vs. El Salvador: Live stream and TV info, USMNT roster

The USMNT continues its quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup when it takes on El Salvador at Field in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday night. Columbus has long been a comfortable home venue for the U.S. men’s national soccer team. The USMNT has a 8-1-2 record in World Cup qualifiers played in Columbus, […]

Read More

Anthony Davis injury update: Lakers star upgraded to ‘questionable’ for Sunday’s game vs. Heat

The Los Angeles Lakers could be getting a major piece back very soon. All-Star forward Anthony Davis has been officially upgraded to questionable for the Lakers contest against the Heat in Miami on Sunday. His final status will be determined prior to tip time, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell. Davis has been out of the […]

Read More