The Sixers and Ben Simmons are evidently still not on the same page.
The team has resumed fining Simmons and plans to continue doing so until the 25-year-old “cooperates with team physicians on his mental health issues and fulfills other basketball-related obligations,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday.
Complete coverage of the Philadelphia 76ers and their rivals in the NBA from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Simmons was fined his game salary of $360,000 for missing Thursday’s win over the Pistons, Wojnarowski reported. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark confirmed the ESPN report.
Other pertinent details from Wojnarowski: The Sixers have placed Simmons’ future salary in escrow, as the team did when it withheld the $8.25 million Simmons was owed on Oct. 1. ESPN reports Simmons has worked with mental health professionals through the National Basketball Players Association, but that the Sixers are fining him because of his “refusal to provide basic details of his course of mental health meetings, evaluation or treatments or to accept consultation with any specialists arranged by the team.”
The Sixers stopped fining Simmons at some stage after an Oct. 22 meeting in which he told teammates he was not mentally ready to play. Three days before that, head coach Doc Rivers removed Simmons from practice for being a “distraction” and the Sixers suspended him one game for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
Though Simmons has worked out at the Sixers’ practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, there have been no signs that he’s set to rejoin team activities soon. Rivers on Wednesday said he has “no idea” when there might be a resolution between the Sixers and Simmons, who requested a trade this offseason.
“I don’t think about it,” Rivers said. “I honestly don’t. I coach the guys that are on the floor every day. That’s what I’ve focused on, and we’ve done pretty well with that.”
The Sixers had only nine active players Thursday, with Tobias Harris and Isaiah Joe (health and safety protocols), Danny Green (left hamstring tightness) and Furkan Korkmaz (right wrist soreness) among those sidelined. They played eight in the victory over Detroit and lead the Eastern Conference with a 7-2 record.