The last few seasons have been a struggle for Ben Simmons. He battled injuries after being traded to the Brooklyn Nets last season, and before that was in the middle of a sound off with the Philadelphia 76ers after a disappointing end to the 2021 postseason.
As a result, Simmons was questioned by his coach Doc Rivers following the season, who, after being asked if Simmons could be a point guard on a championship team, replied saying, “I don’t know the answer to that right now.” Star player Joel Embiid also seemed to blame Simmons following the elimination.
Ben Simmons Talks About Lack of Support From Sixers
In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Simmons spoke about some of the disappointment from his time in Philadelphia. He talked about what led up to him requesting a trade.
“I definitely didn’t handle it the right way after the season, but there’s two sides,” Simmons told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Your teammates are supposed to have your back. Your coaches are supposed to have your back. And I didn’t have that at all.”
Following the trade request from Simmons, he battled his mental health throughout the start of the season, which sidelined him. He refused to meet with Philadelphia team doctors after the team was frustrated with his lack of readiness to get in the game. The Australian point guard spoke out about his mental health and how it was handled by the 76ers organization.
“I still wasn’t ready in my head. I wasn’t in a place to get on the court and play. I went to Coach and said, ‘I’m not ready yet to get back on the court, I need some time.’ He says, ‘Well, I’m going to put you out there regardless,'” Simmons says, shaking his head. “Okay, so now you’re just trying to f… with me,” Simmons continued.
Ben Simmons’ Mom Talks About Sixers Handling of Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers were paying Simmons a lot of money, and wanted the point guard on the floor to help their team win. However, when he was unable to take the court, citing unseen mental health reasons people grew frustrated. Mental health has only started being widely discussed in sports in the last five years or so. Teams still aren’t great at addressing it.
While Simmons was dealing with mental health concerns, his mom Julie moved closer to him and discussed how it was handled, including suggesting that people were ‘ill-informed’ in a conversation with the Sydney Morning Herald.
“There is this perception that if you enjoy all the good stuff, you’ve gotta be prepared for the bad stuff, but this level of relentless hatred was totally disproportionate,” argues Julie Simmons. “I got to a point where I was so enraged, because I felt what they were doing was dangerous and ill-informed and just wrong. It almost became a sport – to pile on and make a joke about it, make a joke of him, but he’s a person. He’s my son.”