Those wondering if a day would pass by without there being any new drama regarding Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons will have to keep waiting, perhaps indefinitely.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier on Thursday that Simmons elected against participating in a scheduled individual workout but needed treatment for "back tightness" at the team's facility, and The Athletic's Shams Charania later tweeted Simmons "is currently not mentally ready to play" for the Sixers and could remain out of the lineup "for an undetermined period of time."
There's a new twist to those updates.
Philadelphia media personality Howard Eskin now reports the 76ers believe "Simmons is faking injury and mental illness" coming off his request over the summer to be traded:
According to Sources, belief by #Sixers Ben Simmons is faking injury and mental illness. He came in 2day and said he had back stiffness and mentally not ready to play. Mental illness is serious issue and team is livid Simmons went down that road. Team plans to fine him every game— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) October 21, 2021
Simmons skipped multiple weeks of training camp in a presumed attempt to force the 76ers to trade him, and he reportedly has already been fined roughly $1.7 million, total, for missing exhibition games, Wednesday's regular-season opener at the New Orleans Pelicans, workouts and meetings.
Simmons was suspended for Wednesday's matchup after coach Doc Rivers tossed him from a practice for reportedly refusing to participate in a defensive drill.
Despite all that has occurred, Wojnarowski says Simmons could be an option to at least attend Friday's home opener versus the Brooklyn Nets:
All-Star guard Ben Simmons is expected to come early to the 76ers shootaround on Friday morning to discuss his playing status with organizational leadership, sources tell ESPN. Sixers play the Nets on ESPN and team is still hopeful that Simmons will participate in shootaround.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 21, 2021