Ben Simmons has been excused for mental health-related reasons, but the team is now fining him if he does not cooperate with team doctors.
The Ben Simmons saga rages on in Philadelphia, as the 76ers have once again begun to fine the once-successful 76er.
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the 76ers fined the All-Star guard his $360,000 game salary for missing Thursday’s victory over the Detroit Pistons.
The team plans to continue fining Simmons “until he cooperates with team physicians on his mental health and fulfills other basketball-related obligations,” according to ESPN’s sources.
As they did earlier this season, the Sixers will place Simmons’ future salary into an escrow account. Earlier in the season, the team released Simmons’ money from escrow when he initially seemed willing to cooperate on a path to return.
Ben Simmons is being fined once again for failing to cooperate with 76ers
The Ben Simmons story began with Simmons sitting out all offseason, making it clear he no longer wanted to be in Philadelphia and desired a trade.
When the 76ers failed to receive worthy trade offers, they repeatedly refused his requests, fining Simmons until he attended practice.
Since then, Simmons has yet to play in a regular-season game. After the short suspension was lifted, Simmons endured a back injury that sidelined him. Once healed, the Sixer said he was dealing with mental health issues and was unable to return.
While Philadelphia was initially accommodating Simmons’ request to address his mental health on his own, the team is now fining him because he is not working with team doctors.
Simmons has been working with mental healthcare professionals through the National Basketball Players Association, according to an ESPN report.
This report was released on Nov. 2, three days before the news broke that the team would now be fining him for his lack of cooperation with the team.
Throughout the months-long back and forth, it seemed that Simmons and the 76ers may have finally been on the verge of finding a solution. Now, that solution seems more improbable as Simmons is pressured to be medically evaluated by the team.
Although they’ve been without Simmons all season, the 76ers are currently the best team in the Eastern Conference, boasting a 7-2 record.
The 76ers have made it clear they want someone valuable in return for trading Simmons, but seeing as the team can clearly succeed without him, it makes more sense at this point to trade away the continuous distraction the Simmons media circus is causing.