Philadelphia 76ers All-Star point guard Ben Simmons plans to meet with medical professionals for an evaluation after telling the team Friday that he was not mentally ready to play to their expectations and needed time to get away, sources told ESPN.
Simmons met separately with coach Doc Rivers, medical staff, and teammates Friday morning at the team’s facility in Camden, NJ, and began a process that is expected to continue to prevent him from making his debut in the season, sources said.
After he told the team’s medical staff his reasons for seeking help, the Sixers continued to provide Simmons with whatever resources he needed to help him, the sources said.
Simmons was officially ruled out of Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets (7:30 pm ET, ESPN Deportes) for personal reasons. Star Joel Embiid is also questionable to play with right knee pain.
The Sixers have fined Simmons for missing games, practices and meetings nearly $ 2 million this season, but there is a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that protects players’ wages for not serving “if such non-compliance has been caused. due to the player’s mental disability.
Sixers backup forward Georges Niang did not elaborate on what Simmons told the team, only saying that “we came out of the meeting understanding what he had to say, and we went out and got ready for Brooklyn.”
Simmons, 25, requested a trade four months ago and has told the team that he has no interest in playing for the franchise again. The Sixers have not been able to find a deal that fulfills their interest in getting a package that includes a high-level All-Star player in return, and they have wanted Simmons to be on the court to fulfill his contract. Simmons has four years and $ 147 million remaining on his maximum five-year contract.
Simmons left the team’s practice facility Thursday without participating in a scheduled individual practice. He underwent a brief treatment on his back before the Sixers’ medical team cleared him to participate on the court.
In a Philadelphia radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey reiterated that the team would not rush to trade Simmons, saying that “people should buckle up. This will take a long time.
Simmons’ agent Rich Paul told Sixers officials that Simmons was not mentally ready to play, sources said, and that was a message Simmons relayed directly Friday morning.
Simmons was suspended for the Sixers’ win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday after coach Doc Rivers pulled him out of practice Tuesday for missing a practice session. Simmons lost approximately $ 227,000 from Wednesday night’s suspension.
The Sixers were hoping to see Simmons work out Thursday and shoot practice Friday, sources said. The 76ers did not practice Thursday, and Simmons has yet to fully engage in team practice since reporting Oct. 11 after a two-week suspension. (ESPNDEPORTES.COM)