Report: 76ers have stopped fining Ben Simmons
The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder last night 115-103. Of course, they were without Ben Simmons. Simmons, as we all know, finally addressed head coach Doc Rivers and his teammates late last week, finally taking a step in the right direction and acknowledging he needed to take some responsibility for his actions over the past four months.
From there, Simmons stated that he will rejoin the team. However, he’s not mentally ready to do so and will need time to ensure that when he does return, the 76ers would be getting the best from him on the court.
It’s been relatively quiet since then. Besides the morons blowing me up on Twitter for failing to realize the difference between selling t-shirts and criticizing Ben Simmons and having sex with headless Ben Simmons piñatas in the Wells Fargo Center parking lot before the home opener. But hopefully, we have all moved past that.
Today we learned that the 76ers would be no longer fining Ben Simmons for missing time with the team and they have stopped doing so now that Simmons is out for personal reasons.
Look, I know a lot of people out there aren’t buying in on the Ben Simmons mental and/or personal issues that Simmons claims he’s having. After what happened over the past four months, it’s hard to get on Simmons side with anything at the moment. Especially while reports continued to come out just as recently as last week saying that Ben Simmons would do “whatever it takes” to get out of Philadelphia. It’s a tough thing to sell on anyone at the moment.
There has been a complete change in communication about Ben Simmons. First, you had Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris both come out and say that this is “bigger than basketball” and we need to “love our brother” because Ben Simmons is still one of us. Now, you have the 76ers discontinuing the fines that Simmons has been getting since the start of training camp.
I would like to be able to trust the change in tone surrounding Ben Simmons. After he spoke with Doc Rivers and the 76ers, something clearly changed. Hopefully, having a tough conversation with his teammates made everyone realize that this situation is serious and that Simmons does need time to get back to a sound headspace.
If not, well damn. This might be the greatest con artist in history. I pray to god it doesn’t come to that, but with everything that’s happened over the last four months, you simply never know.
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