NBA fans shouldn't expect to see Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons on the court for Friday's clash with the Brooklyn Nets, but it appears that some progress has been made between the controversial star and the organization.
Multiple reports on Friday morning said that Simmons checked in to the Sixers' team facility and met with head coach Doc Rivers, as well as his teammates and the organization's medical professionals.
Simmons reported to shootaround today ahead of Nets game and was seen engaged around the team, sources said. The three-time All-Star has expressed he wants to play but isn't prepared mentally. https://t.co/DUuPfGch2s— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 22, 2021
Ben Simmons met with Sixers' medical professionals and coach Doc Rivers today and informed them that he's not mentally ready to play to his expectations now, sources tell ESPN. He also talked to his teammates today.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 22, 2021
On Tuesday, Simmons was thrown out of practice by Rivers ahead of the team's season-opener against the New Orleans Pelicans and later criticized by teammate Joel Embiid during a presser. On Thursday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons chose not to participate in a scheduled individual workout and said he needed treatment for "back tightness", while Shams Charania of The Athletic later tweeted that the guard "is currently not mentally ready to play".
Simmons still has four years and $147 million left on his contract with Philly, and team president of basketball operations Daryl Morey told 97.5 The Fanatic yesterday that the drama surrounding the former No. 1 overall pick could last "four years".
The 76ers play in their home-opener at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday against the Nets.