Sports

Ben Simmons meets with teammates to explain why he’s ‘mentally not ready’ to play


Ben Simmons addressed his teammates this morning to explain that he’s not mentally ready to play for the team, according to multiple reports.

Simmons’ season debut was officially called off after he met with team officials before the team’s shootaround ahead of their clash with Brooklyn this morning AEDT.

Simmons met separately with coach Doc Rivers, medical staff before addressing teammates at the team’s facility after their video session.

According to ESPN, the Sixers offered Simmons support over his concerns and the Australian will now meet with medical professionals.

The Athletic reports the under fire Aussie addressed his teammates for around five minutes after their film session concluded.

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Sources told the website that superstar centre Joel Embiid asked Simmons why he is seeking a trade.

Apparently, Simmons replied he “does not feel like himself mentally right now to play in Philadelphia and needs time”, the report claims.

The 25-year-old received support from teammates Tobias Harris and Danny Green during the meeting, with Harris also taking to social media.

“And we’ll respect his privacy and space during this time,” Harris tweeted. “When he’s ready, we will embrace our brother with love and handle our business on the court. That’s it, that’s all.”

Sixers reserve forward Georges Niang said afterwards, “We left the meeting understanding what he had to say, and we came out and got ready for Brooklyn.”

Simmons left the team’s practice facility yesterday without participating in a scheduled individual workout.

He underwent brief treatment on his back before the Sixers’ medical team cleared him for on-court participation. He then left the arena.

Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, told Sixers officials that the player wasn’t in the right mental space to play with the Aussie relaying the message to the team this morning, further putting his season debut for the team in doubt.

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