By Tommy Matthews
Ben Simmons has not only cost himself a year’s worth of NBA competition, but his foolish holdout until the Sixes trade him is making him a fool and his money are soon parted, as the scripture says.
ESPN’s report from Ramona Shelburne says his holdout has cost him $19 million in fines. If he sits out the rest of the season that number will grow to $32 million.
Simmons has lost over $19 million in fines since the season began (each missed game costs him $360,000). He hasn’t cleared a paycheck since the $8.25 million (25% of his $33 million salary) that was due to him Oct. 1.
Every two weeks the team sends a notice with an explanation of all the fines he has accumulated for failing to render services, instead of a $1.375 million paycheck.
By the end of the season, if he does not play for the Sixers or any other team, Simmons could lose another $12 million.
It is a staggering amount of money. Everyone involved assumes this issue will eventually be settled in arbitration. But those close to Simmons, who has earned upward of $60 million over his career, insist his decision to demand a trade and then not to play until he is traded has never been financially motivated. He wants a fresh start, away from a franchise he doesn’t feel comfortable playing for anymore.
“We don’t give a f— about the money,” one source close to Simmons says. “That’s not what this is. It’s hard for people to understand. But if you believe in what you’re doing and that this is not the right situation for you, and you’re trying to get to a better place, the money doesn’t matter. Obviously it’s a financial hit. But you adjust.”