Ben Simmons Reportedly Isn't Comfortable with Mental Health Doctor on 76ers' Staff

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVNovember 8, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team's facility, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Camden, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons has received outside mental health assistance as he remains away from the team to start the 2021-22 season.

"Philadelphia does not have a mental health doctor on its staff with whom Simmons is comfortable," Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday.

Simmons returned to the team facility after his initial holdout in training camp, but he told 76ers officials in October that he "wasn't mentally ready to play to his expectations," per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 25-year-old has provided the 76ers with names of his current mental health professionals, per Charania, but they aren't able to disclose information without Simmons' consent due to patient confidentiality.

The team officials are reportedly hoping for more details about his treatment, including the "plans, process and return timeframe."

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne recently reported the 76ers have been frustrated with the situation:


Ben Simmons has not accepted any off-court help from the 76ers and there's no timetable for his return, sources have told <a href="https://twitter.com/ramonashelburne?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ramonashelburne</a>.<br><br>"There is frustration mounting." <a href="https://t.co/0DqunuUoZx">pic.twitter.com/0DqunuUoZx</a>

"There has been frustration mounting, according to people close to the situation, that Ben has not been accepting any of the help the team has offered him, in terms of helping him with his mental readiness," Shelburne reported.

The team fined Simmons for missing Thursday's game against the Detroit Pistons and plan to fine him $360,000 for each game he misses, per Wojnarowski

According to Charania, the National Basketball Players Association supports Simmons and believes the 76ers cannot withhold salary as long as he provides basic information about the mental health professionals he is seeing. 

Philadelphia has fared well without him on the court, going 8-2 with six straight wins heading into Monday's game against the New York Knicks.