In an exclusive statement to Yahoo Sports, NBPA head Michele Roberts took issue with some saying Ben Simmons is using mental health as an excuse for not being ready to play. Roberts also called out Daryl Morey for saying he’s prepared to wait out the four years remaining on Simmons’ contract before he’ll trade him for a less than desired package.
Roberts said, “Really? Is it so hard to believe that Ben’s not mentally at a place to compete? Professional athletes — like the rest of us — have difficult periods in our lives that require time and energy to heal. We have and will continue to provide Ben with the support and resources he needs to work through this. Threatening the prospect of ‘another four years’ serves no one’s interests. Like Tobias (Harris), I say let’s respect Ben’s space and embrace him while allowing him the time to move forward.
“So, take a breath and count to 10: We are all too good to continue to play this perpetual game of chicken.”
Simmons has recently reported back to the Philadelphia 76ers, but has yet to complete a full practice with the team. He was kicked out of his first practice by Doc Rivers for refusing to take part in drills. Following that, Simmons was suspended for the season opener.
Since that point, Simmons has talked with his teammates and coaches and explained he’s not mentally ready to play at this point. He asked for time to get himself ready. Multiple players, including Tobias Harris, have come out in support of him. They’ve said they’ll give him the time and space he needs.