Rich Paul: 76ers tactics worsen Simmons’ mental health issues


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Ben Simmons’ agent Rich Paul believes the pressure the Philadelphia 76ers put on his client to cooperate with team medics to resolve his ongoing mental health issues has had a negative impact on the disgruntled All-Star.

“I really believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shone on it – it’s very unnecessary and made Ben’s mental health issues worse,” Klutch Sports founder Charania told The Athletic’s Shams. “Either help Ben or go out and say he’s lying.” Which one is it? “

The team have denied forcing Simmons to play or accusing him of distorting his condition, but believe he should participate in team activities until medical professionals confirm he does not. can not play.

In late August, Simmons reportedly told 76ers executives that he wanted to be traded and would not show up to the team’s preseason training camp. However, after the Sixers began withholding paychecks from Simmons’ five-year, $ 177 million contract, he ended his wait – showing up at the arena without notice on October 11.

Simmons was then formally suspended for the 76ers’ first game of the season on October 20, which would have resulted in a fine of $ 1.4 million. He has since been listed as absent for personal reasons, apparently after telling his coaches and teammates he is not mentally ready to take on the pitch.

The 76ers initially suspended Simmons’ fines following revelations about his current mental state, but reportedly resumed punitive action last Friday due to his lack of communication regarding his condition assessment and ongoing treatment efforts.

Simmons approved the 76ers mental health professional to speak with his personal therapist and encouraged the two parties to work together, according to Paul.

Even still, the 25-year-old’s continued absence will cost him $ 360,000 per game missed, and he has no schedule to return.

“In this case, we need to get help from Ben and not put finances before mental health,” Paul added. “As an agent, I understand contractual obligations and I feel responsible in this matter. But if someone says something to you, we can’t turn a blind eye in today’s world.

“It’s not about a job anymore. It’s about finding a place where we can help Ben regain his mental strength and get back on the pitch.”

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