Simmons criticises 76ers for lack of mental health support

Ben Simmons has criticized the Philadelphia 76ers for not providing him with the mental health help he needs.

The point guard sat out all of last season while dealing with mental health issues, and his stint with the Sixers, who called him up as the first overall pick in 2016, ended in February.

A trade on the Brooklyn Nets was completed at the February close, with James Harden moving in the opposite direction.

Simmons has now claimed he didn’t get the support he needed from his former team while speaking on JJ Redick’s Old Man and the Three podcast.

“I was in such a bad place that I was like, damn, I’m trying to get here and you guys are throwing me all these other things where you guys aren’t helping. And that’s all I wanted was help,” he said.

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“I didn’t feel like I got (help) from coaches, teammates, I won’t say all teammates, because there are great guys on this team who have come forward and are still my friends. But I didn’t feel like I understood that and it was just a difficult place for me.

Simmons also believes the team didn’t handle things properly, although he admits he has some responsibility, citing Doc Rivers’ approach that ultimately led to Simmons’ suspension.

“I actually spoke to Doc before practice. I said, ‘Doc, I’m not ready. Mentally I’m not ready. Please just understand that,'” he added.

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“I tried to inform him beforehand and he said, ‘Well, I’m going to put you in anyway.’ I say: ‘All right.’ He told me to get in. I looked at him. It was like a minute in practice, like, ‘Ben, get in.’

“I think first of all nobody does that. You’re doing this on purpose. And that’s how I felt. It seems like everyone is trying to f*** me now. I get fined for not lifting weights, but physically I’m one of the strongest on the team.

“So now they’re punishing me for little things. It was just a build up. Obviously I didn’t handle things properly, but neither did the team and the people who had that power.”

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Simmons, who is currently suffering from an injury, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp and is excited to join his new team-mates and shares his belief they can go all the way.

“It’s getting sick. I can’t wait. I’m so excited. I’ve got a new number, a new jersey. I’m just looking forward to it,” he explained.

“I think we have a special team. I think if we get it all together we’ll be champions. That is the end goal.”

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