Too Little, Too Late: New Rich Paul quotes on Ben Simmons are a load of crap
I don’t even know where to begin. We just dropped an article an hour ago that featured Shams on the Pat McAfee show talking about Ben Simmons and the fact that even if he was traded, he still wouldn’t play immediately while he currently works through mental health issues. Honestly, that made sense. I couldn’t see Ben Simmons getting traded and then immediately being cured of all the issues that he is reportedly going through now. That would simply mean that none of it was real in the first place and he just wanted out of Philadelphia.
After we got that article up, we have a new article from The Athletic, courtesy of Shams Charania that has direct quotes from Klutch Sports and Rich Paul regarding Ben Simmons and how the 76ers are handling this entire situation. You can read the full article here if you have a subscription to The Athletic. Below are some of the ridiculous quotes from Rich Paul.
“Ben Simmons believes the Philadelphia 76ers’ recent actions are exacerbating his mental health issues, and that the team wants to deem him fit to force him to play, regardless of what he tells the team’s mental health therapist.”
I think it’s safe to say that the recent actions Rich Paul is referring to would be the Sixers fining Ben Simmons again after he failed to provide the 76ers organization with medical updates. The team wanted to know how treatment was going so they could figure out a timeline on when they could expect Ben Simmons, who as we all know has four years left on his max contract with the 76ers, would actually play basketball again. The fines weren’t because of his mental health issues. They were because he refused to show up to work, and cooperate with the 76ers organization.
“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue — that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben,” Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul said. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?”
Rich Paul is such an idiot. He’s the reason all of this has become so negative. All of the reports throughout the summer and into the 2021 have been ridiculous. The entire quote is actually contradictory in itself. Every quote throughout this article continues to shine a negative light on him, Klutch Sports, and Ben Simmons.
Shams did his work by also reaching out to a 76ers team official to comment on what Rich Paul was saying. Rightfully so, the official reportedly said “absolutely not” in regards to forcing Ben Simmons to return or accusing him of lying. All the 76ers are asking him to do is to show up to team activities and be an active participant and member of the 76ers until he is mentally cleared to take the court again.
The 76ers sent Ben Simmons a schedule for Thursday, that included the team’s game against Toronto which is happening right now. This is definitely the 76ers doing their due diligence so they have grounds to fine Ben Simmons, who of course, did not show up today and is not currently at the Wells Fargo Center for the game.
Good. Fine Ben Simmons and continue to fine him until he shows up. I love it.
Here’s more bullshit from Rich Paul:
“In this case, we have to get Ben help and not put finances above mental health,” Paul said. “As an agent, I understand contractual obligations and I hold myself accountable in this business. But if someone is telling you something, we can no longer turn a blind eye in today’s world.
“This is no longer about a trade. This is about finding a place where we can help Ben get back to his mental strength and get back on the floor. I want him on the floor playing the game that he loves. I want Ben on the floor whether that’s in a 76ers uniform or any other uniform, that’s not up to me, but I want him in a state where he can resume play. We want to cooperate and want to work him back on the floor.”
Apparently the Sixers were happy to see that Rich Paul said he wants Ben Simmons back on the court whether that be in a 76ers uniform or on another team. Me? I think that’s complete and total bullshit. Everything that has unfolded over the past five months is a direct result of Klutch Sports and Rich Paul and the way they have handled this entire situation. You can’t just come out now and have a “look forward” attitude after everything you have created over the past five months.
Here’s the last bit from Rich Paul:
“Ben has a mental issue, let’s support him. I’m happy he got to a place where he realized and accepted help. I understand it’s a business, but even in business, you need humanity. I have a great level of respect and love for the city of Philadelphia, as someone who loves the game, but this isn’t about that. This is about Ben getting back to a place mentally where he can be back on the floor — and only Ben can tell us when that is. We have to allow him to do that.”
I have been pretty clear the entire time that I’m not going to question Ben Simmons and where he is at mentally. I think it has been evident for years that he had a mental block on the basketball court. I’m sure the thought of playing in Philadelphia after everything that has happened since Game 7 last year is terrifying as well. That’s all perfectly fine with me and totally understandable.
Rich Paul however, can kick rocks. Every quote above comes off as an agent who is out of options and has completely screwed up this entire situation with one of his clients. I can’t just put all of the reports that came from Klutch Sports over the past five months to the side and move forward like Rich Paul isn’t the villain in this situation. Most of the reports that came out have already been confirmed to be totally false.
The 76ers stopped fining Ben Simmons when the entire conversation about mental health started. They were completely understandable and have offered any type of help that Ben Simmons needed. The second they started fining him again, which was due to the fact he wasn’t sharing the proper information from his medical team with the 76ers, now we have Rich Paul speaking out again.
I’m sorry but I have a real hard time believing this isn’t solely about money. Ben Simmons and Rich Paul are just constantly trying to find a way to stop the fines. If this was actually about mental health, no fines would even matter, right?
There’s no ending to this situation anytime soon and I’m okay with that. The 76ers and Daryl Morey have stood their ground and a few quotes from Rich Paul isn’t going to change anything. Ben has a contract to play with the 76ers for another four years. Either he’s going to do what is asked of him by the 76ers or he’s not and will have to deal with the backlash and fines. Period.