The Philadelphia 76ers fined All-Star point guard Ben Simmons his $ 360,000 playing salary for missing Thursday night’s victory over the Detroit Pistons and plan to continue fining him until he cooperates with team doctors about his mental health issues and meet other basketball-related obligations, the sources said. ESPN on Friday.
The Sixers will put Simmons’ future salary back into an escrow account, sources said. Earlier this season, the Sixers released Simmons’ money from the escrow after he initially cooperated on a way back to play.
Sixers officials believe they have supported Simmons in his stated need for mental health assistance and are left with no choice but to fine in response to the three-time All-Star’s refusal to provide basic details of his meeting course. of mental health, evaluation or treatments or accept the consultation with a specialist arranged by the team, the sources said. Simmons has worked with mental health professionals through the National Basketball Players Association.
For the Sixers and Simmons, this is the latest chapter in an increasingly antagonistic four-month showdown. Simmons, with four years and $ 147 million remaining on his contract, requested a change and expressed no desire to rejoin the team.
Simmons has regularly appeared on the team grounds for some daily basketball activity with individual coaches and teammates, but the Sixers will begin fining him again for not participating in other requirements, such as physical training, video studio, and some presence in practice. and shooting practice on game day, sources said.
Despite Simmons’ absence, and with three wins without starting forward Tobias Harris due to COVID-19, the Sixers are 7-2 with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
After he incurred $ 2 million fines for failing to show up to training camp and a limited return to the team, the Sixers stopped fining Simmons two weeks ago when he told officials and teammates that he was mentally unprepared to play. and planned to seek professional help.
In that time, Simmons, 25, has worked cooperatively with his doctors and those on the team on a back ailment, but has repeatedly told the Sixers that he is unwilling to share information about his course of action in seeking treatment. mental health, sources said.
Simmons and his representatives are unhappy with the Sixers’ handling of the situation since public criticism against him in the wake of his poor performance in the Eastern Conference semifinals in June.
The Sixers have struggled to find a trade package that meets their asking price and tried unsuccessfully to convince Simmons to play again until a deal can be found. Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has said the Sixers want a high-level player in exchange for Simmons, and that has yet to be available in months of discussion.