Philadelphia fined Ben Simmons his $360,000 game salary after he missed Thursday's victory over the Pistons, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The team will reportedly keep fining the point guard until he cooperates with team physicians regarding his mental health, which he reportedly has not been accepting. However, he has instead seen mental health professionals made available by the National Basketball Players Association.
On Oct. 22, Simmons informed the team that he was not mentally ready to play yet. Forward Tobias Harris quote tweeted The Athletic's Shams Charania's report, saying, "And we’ll respect his privacy and space during this time. When he’s ready, we will embrace our brother with love and handle our business on the court. That's it, that's all."
The Sixers are reportedly putting Simmons's future salary into an escrow account. Earlier this season, the team had released it after he initially cooperated with returning to play.
According to ESPN, Simmons has been showing up at the team's facility for some of the daily basketball activities, but has not participated in requirements like strength training, film study and being present at game-day shootarounds or team practice. Because of his failure to do so, the league will begin fining him again.
It's been a lengthy four-month standoff between Philadelphia and Simmons that began during the offseason when he requested a trade. He is reportedly also no longer interested in playing with teammate Joel Embiid, amid his frustration with the team's decision to build around Embiid and his playing style.
When training camp began, the turmoil continued. Coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice one day, leading to the eventual suspension for the team's season opener, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix. Wojnarowski first reported news of Rivers removing Simmons from practice. According to Charania, Rivers asked Simmons to join a defensive drill multiple times, but Simmons refused and Rivers told him to "go home."
After he was kicked out of practice, Embiid offered a pointed comment about his teammate, telling reporters, "we don't get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody."
"At this point, I don't care about that man, honestly," Embiid said. "He does whatever he wants."
Simmons then showed up to and departed from Philadelphia's practice facility a few days later without taking part in a previously scheduled individual workout, according to Wojnarowski. He reportedly described back tightness to team staff members and received treatment. But he was later cleared to work out.
Despite the public feud between Simmons and Embiid, the superstar center addressed fans before the 76ers' home opener against the Nets, saying, "he's still our brother."
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