Report: Agent says 76ers exacerbating Simmons' mental health
Ben Simmons’ agent Rich Paul reportedly says that the Philadelphia 76ers’ actions to get the player to return are worsening his mental health state.
Ben Simmons’ agent Rich Paul claims that the tactics employed by the Philadelphia 76ers to get the player to play for the team again are taking a toll on his mental health, according to a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Simmons has reportedly been quoted as not being “mentally ready” to return to the basketball court.
“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue- that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben,” the Klutch Sports CEO told Charania. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?”
Charania’s report also contained a reaction from an official of the 76ers repudiating Paul’s claim that the Australian star is being forced to play and is being called a liar.
The franchise believes Simmons should participate in the team’s activities until there is a report from mental health specialists that state he is unable to do so.
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76ers say they support Ben
The team insists they are sympathetic to the mental health concerns of the former NBA Rookie of the Year, and that they are providing him with the resources that he needs for both his mental state and his back injury.
Simons has already consulted with the team’s mental health team, but the 76ers say they have received no notice of whether the 25-year-old was not fit to play or practice.
Paul told the Athletic, “If Ben has repeatedly shown behavior that entails he isn’t mentally ready to play, embrace him. Support him. We have to remove our ego from it. We all have to take responsibility.”
Charania’s report states that the three-time NBA All-Star is willing to have his personal doctor cooperate with the 76ers’ own physicians to decide on how best to deal with his mental health.