Every day brings with it a new development (or three) in the Ben Simmons Saga for the Philadelphia 76ers. Wednesday, Simmons got booted out of practice on Wednesday, complained about back pain on Thursday, and announced he’s not mentally ready to start playing yet on Friday.
Simmons reported to shootaround today ahead of Nets game and was seen engaged around the team, sources said. The three-time All-Star has expressed he wants to play but isn't prepared mentally. https://t.co/DUuPfGch2s
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 22, 2021
We’ve heard from Sixers star Joel Embiid, who said on Wednesday that none of Simmons’ teammates have spoken with him outside of practice. However, that’s just one person. In light of the most recent news, Sixers forward Tobias Harris said on Twitter that he and the rest of the team will give Simmons the space he needs.
And we’ll respect his privacy and space during this time. When he’s ready, we will embrace our brother with love and handle our business on the court. That's it, that's all. https://t.co/eardjmQbz8
— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) October 22, 2021
“And we’ll respect his privacy and space during this time,” Harris said. “When he’s ready, we will embrace our brother with love and handle our business on the court. That’s it, that’s all.”
Harris’ comments match with what general manager Daryl Morey said on Thursday in that the team remains invested in Simmons and wants things to work out. It also speaks to the fact that, ultimately, if Simmons is willing to play, he’s got teammates who want to play alongside him. Simmons also has four years left on his contract so, even if this drama is intense right now, we could just be getting started in how it all shakes out.