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Report: Ben Simmons felt mentally exhausted, underappreciated with 76ers

Ben Simmons in Philadelphia 76ers v Toronto Raptors

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 25: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers sits on the court after falling into the front row during the second half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on November 25, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. 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. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

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Joel Embiid tweeted: “I love the criticism, I love when I’m told I can’t do something. It makes me work harder to prove everyone wrong.”

Then, Embiid added: “but not everyone is built like that.”

Anyway, Ben Simmons’ agent, Rich Paul, told the 76ers early in the offseason the star wanted to be traded.

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer

The Sixers asked why Simmons wanted out, and Paul informed them that the point guard was mentally exhausted. The source believes they didn’t pay attention to Simmons’ state of mind or feelings about being in Philly because of the four years remaining on his contract.

People are trying to frame why Simmons – who hasn’t spoken publicly during this saga – wants to leave Philadelphia, offering different reasons that probably all overlap. Simmons reportedly no longer wants to play with Embiid. Simmons was also reportedly bothered by 76ers coach Doc Rivers saying he didn’t know whether Simmons could be the point guard on a championship team.

Rivers has since tried to welcome back Simmons. So did Embiid before reversing course. A group of Simmons’ teammates tried to meet with him in California.

But they got turned away. Simmons is still holding out. If he shows up, it’ll probably be only to recoup money, not play for Philadelphia.

Maybe this that was all too little, too late. But Rivers also spent all season pumping up Simmons. The team, to Embiid’s chagrin, made real effort to build around Simmons. The 76ers gave him a super-max contract extension.

Sure, Philadelphia also tried to trade Simmons for James Harden. Rivers’ comments after the 76ers lost in the playoffs weren’t flattering to Simmons. Embiid really threw Simmons under the bus.

But, to a certain degree and to quote Don Draper, that’s what the money is for.

Simmons deserves some room to feel mentally exhausted. It’s also reasonable for Philadelphia to expect him to try to overcome any issues and help the team win.

Of course, players can request trades. It’s on the team to keep stars satisfied.

Yet, this only adds to Simmons’ reputation.

His limitations as a shooter require the just-right combination of players placed around him. He’s unreceptive to constructive criticism. Now, it’s becoming increasingly clear how much he wants to be catered to.

Simmons is so talented and productive, some NBA teams should still deal with all the complications just to get the 25-year-old on the roster. But the list probably isn’t as long as Simmons would like.

On the bright side for him, it doesn’t include the 76ers, who’ve rightly made Embiid their franchise player – though are dealing with the side effects now.