The Philadelphia 76ers resumed fining Ben Simmons at the start of the team’s road trip on November 16. He stood to lose roughly $2.16 million by refusing not to “ramp back up” and return.
Well, the Sixers have one game left on their West Coast swing and there are no signs of Simmons. His agent, Rich Paul, maintains the disgruntled star is dealing with mental health issues and shouldn’t be fined. Team brass wants him to use the resources available to him within the organization.
It’s a stalemate, one that could be bankrupting Simmons. What? That’s a typo, right? How could a player who signed a $170 million contract be broke?
According to SportsRadio 94WIP’s Howard Eskin, Simmons might be “cash flow broke” as the fines continue to pile up. Remember, the 25-year-old has a very public fondness – check his Instagram account – for flashy things like million-dollar mansions, foreign sports cars, and designer clothes. Eskin claimed a “very reliable” source told him Simmons is running out of money.
“Cash flow broke. Because he’s losing so much money, but he spent so much money,” Eskin told Joe Giglio. “He’s got two homes in the Philadelphia area, probably worth eight or nine million. He buys a new car every month, four or five hundred thousand. He just spends money like it’s nothing because he thinks it never ends. And the person that told, it’s very reliable that he has got serious cash flow issues.”
Simmons has been fined $360,000 per game, not including missed practices and team meetings. The Sixers also withheld the $8.25 million he was due to be paid on Oct. 1 for his decision to skip training camp.
“I don’t want him to come back, stay broke,” Eskin said. “I thought he was going to be out the whole year, now he may have to come back just to get some money.”
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Agent Says Fines Hurting Simmons’ Mental Health
Paul went on record a few weeks ago saying that the constant fines and negative publicity are taking a toll on Simmons’ mental health. He wishes the Sixers’ organization would work with him to get better, rather than push for the player to return when he’s not ready.
“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue — that’s very unnecessary,” Paul told The Athletic’s Shams Charania, “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?”
Joel Embiid Nearing Sixers’ Return
Meanwhile, the Sixers should be getting All-Star center Joel Embiid back very soon. His trainer Drew Hanlen recently posted a photo of Embiid working out at the team facility and the expectation is he’ll be back either on Saturday (November 27) or Monday (November 29).
The runner-up for MVP has to clear COVID-19 testing first, although head coach Doc Rivers gave a positive update on that. Embiid has already passed one big test, via The Athletic’s Rich Hofmann, and had “another big one” to go.