Ben Simmons hits out at 76ers for not being understanding of his mental health issues



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Ben Simmons hits out at 76ers for not being understanding of his mental health issues

Brooklyn Nets star guard Ben Simmons claims he made the Philadelphia 76ers aware that he was dealing with mental health issues but that they weren't really understanding of the situation. After the 2020/21 season ended, Simmons requested a trade from the 76ers.

The 76ers initially refused to trade Simmons, but later ended up trading him to the Nets in February. Simmons' exit from Philadelphia was a messy one and the two sides didn't split on good terms. "I was in such a bad place where I was like, f---, I'm trying to get here and you guys are, like, throwing all these other things at me to where you're not helping.

And that's all I wanted, was help," Simmons told former Sixers teammate JJ Redick on "The Old Man and the Three" podcast, per ESPN. "I didn't feel like I got it from coaches, teammates -- I won't say all teammates, because there's great guys on that team that did reach out and are still my friends -- but I didn't feel like I got that, and it was just a tough place for me."

Simmons on getting kicked out of practice by 76ers coach

After the 76ers refused to trade Simmons during the summer, Simmons reported for training camp. But there was one practice in which 76ers head coach Doc Rivers decided to kick out Simmons.

Now, Simmons claims he told Rivers before the practice about his mental health and asked him not to ask certain things from him. But Rivers reportedly wasn't so understanding and kicked him out of practice and later saying he wasn't putting up the expected effort.

I actually spoke to Doc before practice. I was like, 'Doc, I'm not ready. Mentally, I'm not ready. Please just understand that,'" Simmons said on the podcast. "I tried to let him know prior, and he was like, 'Well, I'm going to put you in anyway.'

I'm like, 'All right.' He told me to get in. I looked at him. It was like one minute into practice, like, 'Ben, get in.' I'm like, first of all, no one's doing that. You're doing this on purpose.

And that's how I felt, too. It seems like everyone's trying to f--- with me now. I'm getting fined for not lifting weights, but physically I'm one of the strongest guys on the f---ing team. So now they're fining me for little things.

It was just a buildup. Obviously, I didn't handle things the right way, but, also, the team didn't either, and the people who had that power." Simmons is now with the Nets. In the same podcast appearance, Simmons said happiness is now his primary focus.