Ben Simmons said he felt the 76ers were “trying to have sex with him” after his trade request and through mental health struggles.
Simmons blamed Doc Rivers for forcing him to train and said he was fined by the team for not practicing.
Simmons said he was trying to mentally prepare for taking the court and didn’t feel supported by the team.
Ben Simmons felt the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t handle his commercial demand and mental health struggled the right way last season.
Speaking with JJ Redick on the “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, in Simmons’ most extended public comment in months, the Brooklyn Nets striker has now said he told the 76ers he wasn’t mentally prepared to play.
However, according to Simmons, she felt like everyone was “just trying to have sex with me.”
“I was, for me personally, trying to get to a good place to lie on the floor,” Simmons told Riddick. “Getting land was my priority and trying to get myself to a place where I was mentally good to do that – I was in such a bad place, being like, damn, like, trying to get here you guys are throwing me all this other stuff where you’re not helping “.
Last September, Simmons requested a deal from the 76ers and told the team that he would not report to training camp. Simmons was coming off a poor interval performance, which he told Redick was the result of mental health struggles he had during that season.
After a fined training camp, Simmons eventually reported, but more drama ensued. Head coach Doc Rivers Simmons was fired for being a distraction. Several reports said Simmons was loose during practices.
Simmons told Riddick that he tried to tell Rivers he wasn’t ready to play, but the coach wouldn’t listen.
“After I got kicked out of training that day, I actually spoke to Doc before training, and I was like, ‘Doctor, I’m not ready. Mentally, I’m not ready. Please just understand that. “I tried to tell him beforehand,” Simmons said. “And he was like, ‘Okay, I’ll put you down anyway.’ I’m like, OK.
“He told me to get in, I looked at him—it was like a minute into training, like, ‘Ben, get in! “I, first of all, nobody does it, you do it on purpose. And that’s how I felt too – it seemed like everyone was just trying to fuck me now. I’ve been fined for not lifting weights, but physically, I’m one of the strongest The players are on the team. So now they are fined for the little things. It was just a buildup – obviously, I didn’t handle things the right way. But the team didn’t do that either.”
Simmons was reportedly injured due to critical comments made by Rivers and star player Joel Embiid about his play after the 76ers were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. Riddick said it was “indisputable” that Rivers and Embiid dumped Simmons under the bus, which Simmons said, “certainly.”
He added, “All I wanted was help. I didn’t feel like I got it from the coaches or my teammates – I wouldn’t say all my teammates, because there are great people on this team who got in touch with them and they are still my friends – but I didn’t feel like I got that.”
Although Simmons told Redick that he didn’t care about the fines and salary withheld from him, he filed a complaint against the team for $20 million. The two sides agreed to settle an undisclosed amount in August.
After not fitting the 76ers at all last season, Simmons was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for James Harden in February.
During his “intensification” of his return to the field, Simmons injured his back and was unable to play. During the playoffs, with the Nets facing elimination in the first round, Simmons also cited further mental health struggles that prevented him from taking the field for Brooklyn.
Speaking to Riddick, Simmons said his back is now healed and he feels mentally fresher.
Simmons also said he wouldn’t have changed the way he handled his feud with the Sixers.
“If I hadn’t experienced what I went through in the last year and a half, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he said. “I think I needed to go through all of that and have these experiences to be where I am now.”
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