76ers exacerbate Ben Simmons’ mental health issues, says cop Rich Paul: ‘This is no longer about a swap’

Ben Simmons, who has not played a game for the Philadelphia 76ers since he reportedly asked for a swap in June, believes the organization is deteriorating his mental health from “fines, targeting and negative publicity,” according to Simmons’ agent. and the CEO of Klutch Sports. Rich Paul.

In a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, Paul insists the 76ers are trying to force Simmons to play, despite letting the team know he is mentally unprepared to return to court. Simmons showed up for training camp two weeks late and was kicked out of training on October 19 for refusing to participate. Three days later, he informed the organization that he was not mentally ready to play. The organization resumed fining Simmons for his absence on Nov. 5, according to Charania, for lack of clarity about his trial and treatment for his mental health problems.

“Either you help Ben or you come out and say he’s lying,” Paul told The Athletic. “Which one is it?”

A 76ers spokesperson told Charania that the organization is “definitely not” trying to force Simmons to play and that they have fully cooperated by providing resources for Simmons. The team’s position is that Simmons should participate in activities such as exercises, shootarounds, and video sessions until there is information from the team’s mental health professional or from Simmons that he is unable to do so.

Simmons met with the 76ers mental health specialist Monday, but the team says it has not yet received any information from the specialist or from Simmons that would prevent him from playing or practicing.

Paul disagrees with the 76ers’ assessment.

“He’s not here yet. How can a doctor who has only met Ben once say, ‘Ben is mentally ready to play?’ So are we going to keep digging for him or help him?” Paul told The Athletic. “Now that we understand Ben’s reticence, it all makes sense. There was a fear of it. If Ben has repeatedly exhibited behavior that means he’s not mentally ready to play, hug him. Support him. We must remove our ego from it. We all have to take our responsibility.”

Paul also said in recent months the focus has shifted from Simmons’ trade request to simply providing support for his mental health.

“This is no longer about a trade. This is about finding a place where we can help Ben regain his mental strength and get back on the ground. I want him on the floor to play the game he loves likes,” Paul told The Athletic. “I want Ben on the floor whether that’s in a 76ers uniform or any other uniform. That’s not up to me, but I want him to be in a state where he can play again. We want to work together and want him again working on the floor.”

According to Charania’s report, Simmons has agreed to allow his personal therapist to share information and work with the 76ers’ mental health professionals so that they can receive the best treatment.

Leave a Comment