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Report: 76ers stop fining Ben Simmons

76ers star Ben Simmons

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 11: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on and smiles before the game against the Atlanta Hawks during Round 2, Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs on June 11, 2021 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Ben Simmons has so far gotten his wish not to play for the 76ers despite being under contract four more years.

However, he got heavily fined while holding out.

Since reporting and claiming and restating he’s mentally unready (and dealing with a back injury)…

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

The Sixers have stopped fining Ben Simmons.

It’s hard to see an alternative path for the 76ers. Though some people question Simmons’ motives, how does a team prove a player isn’t facing a legitimate mental-health issue? Simmons’ contract includes protection for “mental disability.”

This could even open the door for Simmons to recoup his previous fines. Was he mentally ready then to play? Is reporting required for someone who isn’t mentally ready to play? What if he wasn’t mentally ready to report? (It also wouldn’t be surprising if the current no-fine status quo were a settlement contingent on Simmons not appealing previous fines.)

A longstanding question: Did Simmons do his part to mentally prepare for the season? That still looms as the 76ers allow him time to ready himself now.

Though Daryl Morey’s “four years” bluff was hyperbolic, Philadelphia probably won’t trade Simmons soon. The team is still trying to welcome Simmons back. The door is open for him to play.

If he says he’s ready.

Whatever pressure Simmons feels as he considers his next step, it’s no longer being applied through team fines.