Rich Paul defends Ben Simmons as he continues to hold-out on the Sixers; claims the targeting and fines have worsened his mental health.
The Ben Simmons debacle in Philadelphia reached an all-time high in the weeks leading up to the start of the 2021-22 regular season. Stories of how Sixers players were rejected by Simmons on a potential meet-up were proven to be true, meetings that went nowhere between Rich Paul, Ben, and Doc Rivers took place, and everything in between.
The motor that powered this story to make rounds around the internet and in tabloids did eventually lose quite a bit of steam as the season commenced. The first reason was due to the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers seemed to be doing just fine without him. They are currently 8-5 despite Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris being out.
The second and more important reason was because Ben Simmons, through his agent, claimed that he was battling mental health issues. Due to this, the Sixers aren’t allowed to fine him for missing games but have tried to help him get through his mental health problems.
As expected, Simmons didn’t oblige and has heavily insinuated that he does not want any sort of help from the 76ers in this department.
Rich Paul stands up for Ben Simmons.
The Sixers, in an effort to drive up Simmons’ trade stock (which is at an all-time low), have been trying to get him back out on the floor for them. According to a recent report from Shams Charania, the constant attempts by Philly to get him to play have only worsened his mental state.
“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on this issue- that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben. Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?” asked Rich Paul.
Rich Paul: “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. Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?”
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 12, 2021
It has been extremely hard to defend Ben Simmons during all of this one but in all fairness, the Sixers should not try to force Simmons to play if he truly is going through a tough time, mentally, right now.