A couple of weeks after he returned to Philadelphia, Ben Simmons' situation is still unclear in the City of Brotherly Love. After he landed in Philly, the Australian player starred in more controversies, including getting kicked out of practice by head coach Doc Rivers.
After he stated he wasn't mentally ready to play again, the Sixers decided to give him some space and all the support he needed. That has become another issue in this situation, as Simmons has rejected help from the organization, saying he sought help through the National Basketball Players Association.
This didn't sit well within the franchise since they wanted Ben to work with them to find a solution. The point guard hasn't reached out to address his mental health issues, which has created trouble for them, with the Sixers fining Simmons again.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Philadelphia fined the playmaker his $360K salary game for missing Thursday's game against the Detroit Pistons. They plan to resume the fining if Simmons doesn't cooperate with team physicians on this matter.
The Philadelphia 76ers fined All-Star guard Ben Simmons his $360,000 game salary for missing Thursday night's victory over the Detroit Pistons and plan to continue fining him until he cooperates with team physicians on his mental health issues and fulfills other basketball-related obligations, sources told ESPN on Friday.
The Sixers will again place Simmons' future salary into an escrow account, sources said. Earlier this season, the Sixers released Simmons' money from escrow after he had been initially cooperative on a path toward returning to play.
Sixers officials believe they have been supportive of Simmons' stated need for mental health assistance and are left no choice but for these actions in response to the three-time All-Star's refusal to provide basic details of his course of mental health meetings, evaluation or treatments or to accept consultation with any specialists arranged by the team, sources said. Simmons has worked with mental health professionals via the National Basketball Players Association.
After receiving criticism from fans and media members following the Sixers' elimination of the 2021 NBA playoff, Simmons didn't want to return to Philadelphia. He requested a trade and refused to meet teammates in Los Angeles.
Team legends like Allen Iverson and Charles Barkley don't think Simmons will wear the Sixers jersey again, given his destroyed relationship with fans. That could be a major reason why his mental health isn't the best now, and it makes a lot of sense that he doesn't want to return to the team.
Still, time will tell how this situation plays out. The Sixers aren't backing down and Simmons is still playing the ignoring card to force his way out of Philly.