Report: Ben Simmons expected to file grievance against 76ers
Ben Simmons said he wasn’t mentally ready to play for the 76ers this season. He was trying to force a trade from Philadelphia, but he said his mental-health issues weren’t just about the trade. 76ers president Daryl Morey said he believed Simmons.
Yet, the 76ers fined Simmons more than $19 million before trading him to the Nets.
Maybe Simmons will recoup some of his lost money. Like a physical-health issue, a mental-health issue that precludes a player from playing shouldn’t jeopardize his “guaranteed” salary. But there are difficult questions about where to place the line between prohibitive mental-health issues and a desire not to play for a team amid a trade request. Even if Simmons couldn’t play due to legitimate mental-health issues, there are questions about whether Simmons was or wasn’t taking appropriate steps toward fulfilling his contractual duties with 76ers.
An arbitrator will have plenty to sort out.
It’s tough to see how attending Thursday’s game in Philadelphia will bolster Simmons’ case, though.
The treatment he gets as a visiting player won’t necessarily show how fans would’ve responded to him as a 76er. On the flip side, Simmons’ mental health on March 10 doesn’t necessarily show his mental health in October-February.
If anything, if Simmons handles Thursday’s game, that could show he could have handled playing in Philadelphia for the 76ers.