Simmons meets with Sixers teammates, says he's not mentally ready to play


CAMDEN, N.J. — Another day, another development in the ever-evolving relationship between Ben Simmons and the Sixers.

Simmons addressed the team before its shootaround Friday morning. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Simmons has expressed he wants to play but isn’t mentally prepared. 

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the next steps for Simmons will be “based upon the determination of medical professionals.” NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark confirmed that reporting. 

Georges Niang, who scored 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting Wednesday in his Sixers debut, preferred not to share details of the meeting with Simmons. 

“The locker room is a sacred place,” he said. I don’t really feel comfortable sharing team business, especially when it’s being addressed in the locker room. Obviously Ben addressed us today and you guys know that. … But the locker room has always been a sacred place to me. What’s said and done in there I don’t really feel comfortable revealing, and that’s how I’ve been since Day 1.”

Did the team exit the meeting in a good place?

“Yeah, I think we left the meeting understanding what he had to say,” Niang said. “And we came out and got ready for Brooklyn.”

Tobias Harris tweeted the Sixers would “embrace our brother” when Simmons is ready to play. 


As of early Friday afternoon, Joel Embiid is questionable for the Sixers’ matchup with the Nets at Wells Fargo Center.

Shake Milton (right ankle sprain) and Grant Riller (left knee injury recovery) remain out. Simmons was officially downgraded from doubtful with the designation of “return to competition reconditioning” to out for personal reasons on the 1:30 p.m. ET injury report. 

Tyrese Maxey is expected to continue as the Sixers’ starting point guard. He was strong in that role in the Sixers' season-opening win over the Pelicans, recording 20 points, five assists and one turnover. Andre Drummond would presumably start at center if Embiid sits.