Daryl Morey on Ben Simmons' mental health issues: I believe him

Did Ben Simmons miss all his 76ers games this season, as he claimed, due to mental-health issues? Or was he just holding out to induce a trade? Philadelphia’s judgment seemed apparent, as the team reportedly fined him more than $19 million before dealing him to the Nets. But 76ers president Daryl Morey said he believes Simmons.
Source: Dan Feldman @ NBC Sports

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
76ers president Daryl Morey on Ben Simmons: ‘I believe him’ nba.nbcsports.com/2022/02/18/76e…11:01 AM
Dave Early @DavidEarly
“I think that there’s ways that we can make it all fit together….It wasn’t ideal before we got those guys so this we think has put us in a better position to make the pieces fit.”
-Steve Nash on potentially deploying some Andre Drummond-Ben Simmons (less spacing) minutes pic.twitter.com/A7zVcVqAoG10:16 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Steve Nash says they’ll look for ways to make it work when Ben Simmons and Andre Drummond share the floor eventually. – 10:01 PM
Dave Early @DavidEarly
“I don’t have any clarity.”
– Steve Nash, regarding timetables for Kevin’s Durant and Ben Simmons. – 10:00 PM
Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Final: Wizards beat the Nets 117-103. Brooklyn goes into the All-Star break at 31-28. Lots of questions to come when the team resumes play next week. How soon does Kevin Durant return? When will Ben Simmons play? Does the mandate change for Kyrie Irving? Lots to follow. – 9:53 PM
Daryl Morey says 76ers had another ‘very good’ Ben Simmons trade option, backup plan to persuade him to stay
https://t.co/YPxIot7Seq pic.twitter.com/LTVH0sCFbb5:28 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
“…we would have preferred this didn’t happen.”
-Morey implies he’d rather Ben Simmons simply played than the James Harden trade he made.
Has tons of incentive to say he got what he wanted, but didn’t. Makes you wonder about those keep Simmons, sign Harden as FA summer dreams pic.twitter.com/XXtgawvj6T2:21 PM

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
For our Hoop Collective YouTube exclusive segment this week, @Brian Windhorst, @Tim MacMahon and I ranked the Eastern Conference contenders in the wake of the blockbuster James Harden-Ben Simmons trade: youtu.be/oW8VoJBtSyw11:44 AM
Anthony Puccio @APOOCH
Knicks squander a 28-point lead to a Nets team without KD, Kyrie, Ben Simmons, and Joe Harris.
I don’t think anyone is walking out of the Garden chanting “We want Brooklyn…” – 10:15 PM
Sopan Deb @SopanDeb
The Nets are ruining basketball.
They might get Kyrie, Ben Simmons and KD back? How much help does Cam Thomas need? – 10:09 PM
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
The Nets were down 28 and they’re about to complete a rally and beat the Knicks in MSG. All while missing Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, and Joe Harris. What the hell? – 10:06 PM
Dave Early @DavidEarly
YES Network broadcast talking about how Ben Simmons iced out at the Garden pic.twitter.com/S4sAuZCrks7:49 PM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Steve Nash downplays the chances of Kevin Durant returning right out of the break and says they haven’t really seen yet what kind of condition Ben Simmons is in. Not a lot of reason to predict a quick turnaround after All-Star. – 6:31 PM
Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Nash said he hasn’t seen Ben Simmons on the court yet so he can’t gauge what kind of shape he’s in. Adds performance team is just coming up with a plan for him. #Nets6:12 PM
Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Steve Nash said Ben Simmons has observed Nets’ shootaround. He’s yet to see Simmons on the court and get a gauge for how he looks and what kind of shape he’s in. – 6:08 PM
Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
From yesterday, Ben Simmons met with the media for the first time in some time and went into his exit from Philly, arrival in Brooklyn and more: theathletic.com/313185712:47 PM
Tas Melas @TasMelas
Giannis’ 50-piece, Celtics blowout win over 76ers, KAT’s clutch 3s, Harden and Ben Simmons’ press conferences, alternate broadcasts + @jeskeets in a shock collar! ⚡
📼: https://t.co/gbKizJyUlV
🍎: https://t.co/XjSclyJYjS
✳: https://t.co/YpCkqbnDWC
🅰: https://t.co/v1qudKTb56 pic.twitter.com/NfEjOBeT3t12:04 PM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Seth Curry said Ben Simmons was present today and watching as the #Nets went through morning shootaround, taking everything in and trying to learn the systems. #nba11:03 AM
Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
RJ Barrett (left ankle sprain) and Nerlens Noel (sore left foot) have been ruled out of tonight’s game vs. the Nets.
The Nets will be without KD, Kyrie, Joe Harris and Ben Simmons. – 9:19 AM
Sean Grande @SeanGrandePBP
After spending 36 hours in Phily, I’m going to suggest this airport retailer getting 50% for a Ben Simmons jersey here is…optimistic. pic.twitter.com/bxL3y2mFof5:41 AM

Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
All of the drama surrounding Ben Simmons has led to people underrating his game, writes @Tommy Beer.
He is one of seven players to tally 4,000+ points, 2,000+ boards and 2,000+ dimes before turning 25, joining Giannis, LeBron, Magic, T-Mac, Big O and Kobe: basketballnews.com/stories/lest-w…9:23 PM
Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
Ben Simmons on issues in PHI: “It piled up, a bunch of things, over the years where I knew I wasn’t myself, and I had to get back to that place of being myself and being happy as a person and taking care of my well-being. That was the major thing for me.” basketballnews.com/stories/lest-w…9:12 PM
Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
After six months of relative silence, Ben Simmons spoke to the media about his exit from the Sixers, his fresh start with the Nets and more.
@Tommy Beer was there, and he broke down Simmons’ impact and how he’ll fit alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving: basketballnews.com/stories/lest-w…9:10 PM
Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix
NEW @TheCrossover Pod w/@Howard Beck: Happy Simmons/Harden press conference day! Unpacking — and interpreting — the first public comments from Ben Simmons and James Harden with their new teams. Links: bit.ly/2w1G5e27:24 PM
Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Ben Simmons thrilled to join #Nets after ‘dark times’ in Philadelphia nypost.com/2022/02/15/ben… via @nypostsports teammate @PeterBotte6:48 PM
The Vertical @YahooSportsNBA
James Harden and Ben Simmons in their new threads 👀
(📸: @Philadelphia 76ers, @Brooklyn Nets) pic.twitter.com/nz5CmItGV64:36 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Nets rule out:
Kevin Durant (OUT) MCL sprain
Kyrie Irving (OUT)
Joe Harris (OUT ankle surgery)
Ben Simmons (OUT return to competition reconditioning) – 4:35 PM
Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
My final thoughts on Ben Simmons is centered on his happiness. It’s clear that he didn’t want to be in Philadelphia and it is what it is. Fans can be upset for the playoff failures and everything that has transpired since Game 7, but he mentally just wasn’t happy. Now, he is. – 4:06 PM
Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
#Nets made the trade for Ben Simmons w/strong belief he’d return to play this season. While timetable of exactly when remains unknown, sources say there’s a growing dose of confidence from both sides that Simmons is well on his way. Nets hope he’s fully ingratiated by playoffs. – 3:38 PM
Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Ben Simmons: ‘The mental health has nothing to do with just the trade’ nba.nbcsports.com/2022/02/15/ben…3:00 PM
Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer
Story from today’s press conference: Ben Simmons spoke on his exit from Philly, his arrival in Brooklyn and more: theathletic.com/3131857/2022/0…2:52 PM
Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
Ben Simmons was officially introduced as the newest member of the @Brooklyn Nets!
@Brian Geltzeiler was very impressed from what he heard from Simmons #NetsWorld pic.twitter.com/UxngZkeKOQ2:52 PM

Vince Cellini @Vince_Cellini
Ben Simmons had almost a year to practice that 3 pt shot. Did he use his time wisely? – 2:04 PM
Dave Early @DavidEarly
“For me it felt like it should feel always, my teammates embraced me as soon as I got here. And then besides that, the fans were very welcoming.”
-Ben Simmons on how it felt to sit courtside in Brooklyn. I suppose Sixers fans could read into that “how it should feel” phrasing. – 1:46 PM
Dave Early @DavidEarly
Ben Simmons says he has since spoken to:
Elton Brand, Josh Harris, (they called him).
Spoke to Doc Rivers.
Tobias Harris, and a couple other players.
They were all happy for him. Overall they supported him well enough through this.
Did he speak with Joel?
“No I did not.” – 1:41 PM
Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Ben Simmons says his mental health struggles began well before the 76ers’ season ended and he didn’t feel he could overcome them in Philadelphia.
He’s not sure when he’ll start playing for the Nets but hopes it’s in time to play in Philly on March 10.
apnews.com/article/philad…1:34 PM
Ben Simmons addresses tumultuous 76ers exit for first time, says he hopes to play in Philadelphia in March
cbssports.com/nba/news/ben-s…1:28 PM
Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Ben Simmons on if he can be mentally ready to play for the #Nets in Philly on March 10: “I hope so.” #76ers #sixers1:13 PM
Ian Begley @IanBegley
New Net Ben Simmons referenced the Sixers’ first-round series win over MIA in 2018 when asked about how he views an ideal role in BKN. Surrounded by shooters, Simmons had a remarkable series, averaging 18 pts, 10 reb, 9 assists, 2.4 steals in five games. – 12:33 PM
Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
Daryl Morey says he originally thought there could be a three-team deal to bring James Harden to Philadelphia and Ben Simmons to Brooklyn, and that it would have been the best thing for all involved if it had happened that way. – 12:23 PM
Ethan Strauss @SherwoodStrauss
Industry talk with @sportsrapport tonight at 8:00 PM PT. Doing a Super Bowl round up and talking Ben Simmons media coverage. Join us! callin.com/link/OcVRALBskA12:22 PM

More on this storyline

Daryl Morey: To be fair to him, he clearly – I believe [Ben Simmons]. He was going through something. And it was just whether or not we could’ve gotten to the point where we would have him play basketball for us. I should have had a better relationship with Ben. I really believe that. That’s on me. -via NBC Sports / February 18, 2022
Daryl Morey: I think knowing how sensitive he was to public comments that that behooved us to be, just organizationally, more careful on that. I think it’s important you know your top players and their different spots where you have to pay attention. I’m usually a more up-front person with trades with players. I’ll be very upfront with them when things could happen. Usually, it’s more around the deadline. So, the timing on the first Harden trade got very challenging, because it was in a time when trades don’t normally happen. And so I could’ve done a lot better. -via NBC Sports / February 18, 2022

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