In an extensive conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Sixers GM Elton Brand discussed many topics.

Along with Ben Simmons’ health and what the season could look like if it resumes, Brand brought up the team’s mental health frequently. While all the players are stuck inside amid the coronavirus pandemic, Brand said he’s been in constant contact with them through phone calls and Zoom chats.

“Just keeping them engaged with watching film,” Brand said. “And we’re giving them resources, so they have that outlet. When we speak to them, it’s not all about basketball. It’s about life and how they’re doing, how they’re transitioning, how their family is doing, ways they’re staying healthy, books they can read and articles, sometimes comedies just to get them to laugh. It’s a whole slew of things we’re trying to do because mental health is important at this time.”

There is one way the players are staying connected that Brand is apparently not allowed to be a part of.

The Zoom calls, they’re having happy hours, so they stay engaged with their teammates. For some reason I’m not invited to those. They’re getting together, they’re spending time with each other and they truly miss just playing. They miss the locker room, they miss each other, they miss the fans. They miss everything that basketball afforded them so that’s their bond ... they’re staying tight that way.


Hey, would you want your boss at your virtual happy hour?

And who’s been organizing these?

“I don’t want to say, just in case,” Brand said, laughing. “I didn’t get permission to give that information, but it’s one of the vets.”

Well, there are only so many vets on this roster. 

Al Horford? Doesn’t seem like the type. Tobias Harris? Possibly. He has been known to share himself drinking a glass of red wine or two on Instagram. Mike Scott? The guy who prefers “Jack, no ice” would seem to be a strong candidate.

In any case, the Sixers — just like a lot of us — are getting by with a little help from their friends … and the occasional adult beverage.

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