Report: 76ers resume fining Ben Simmons due to lack of cooperation
The Philadelphia 76ers had stopped fining Ben Simmons after he informed them that he is struggling with his mental health, but the star point guard’s refusal to play is now costing him money once again.
Simmons was fined his full $360,000 game check for missing Thursday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The team has decided to resume fining him due to his refusal to work with team physicians on his mental health issues.
Simmons could get the money at a later date, as the Sixers have placed it in an escrow account. They did the same a few weeks ago and then released the money when Simmons began cooperating with the team’s medical staff.
The 76ers have been supportive of Simmons after he told them he was not mentally ready to play. However, they feel the former first overall pick has failed to provide basic details of what he has been doing to address his mental health issues. Simmons has not accepted consultations with any specialists that the team offered to set him up with.
A report earlier in the week said the Sixers were growing frustrated with Simmons’ refusal to accept help. There has been talk that Simmons is using his supposed mental health issues as a CBA loophole to avoid being fined. The team reportedly questioned from the start whether the issues were real or an attempt from Simmons to sit out while collecting his salary.
Philadelphia is off to a 7-2 start without Simmons. While one teammate offered public support for Simmons, most in the locker room likely want him traded sooner rather than later.
Photo: Apr 9, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons (25) gestures after a call in the first quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports