Friday, January 28 2022
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Ben Simmons has been fined $360,000, one full game check, for missing Thursday’s game against the Detroit Pistons, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Philadelphia 76ers had been fining him throughout his preseason holdout but stopped once he reported to the team and told them that he was not mentally ready to play. However, Simmons has reportedly denied the mental health resources that the team has offered, choosing instead to work with the NBPA. The 76ers are now reportedly planning to fine Simmons until he cooperates with team physicians on his mental health and any other basketball-related obligations. 

Simmons has reportedly refused to share basic details of his treatment with the team. The money Simmons is fined will be placed into an escrow account, as was the money he lost during his initial series of fines, which was eventually released after he reported to the team. While Simmons has been reporting to the team facility regularly, the team will now reportedly start fining him again for failing to participate in any required activities, including strength training, film sessions and some presence at practice and shootarounds. 

The 76ers currently have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 7-2 but will need a resolution on the Simmons situation if they plan to sustain that success. The team is currently without Tobias Harris, who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, and Joel Embiid has fought through some injury issues of his own. Simmons returning would fortify Philadelphia’s rotation, but a trade would at least bring in some needed reinforcements. Top basketball executive Daryl Morey has held firm on his asking price. Philadelphia has thus far been unwilling to trade Simmons for anything less than a player they deem to be a difference-maker. 

There appears to be no end in sight to the standoff between Simmons and the 76ers. Morey recently claimed that this could go on for the entire four-year duration of Simmons’ contract. With no trade on the horizon and Simmons still unwilling to cooperate with the team, this situation appears likely to drag on for quite some time. 

Source: CBSSports.com

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