By Peter Gleason
It may seem like we have been experiencing the Ben Simmons mental health crisis forever.
But it has been less than two months since the Sixers opened training camp without their All-Star guard.
And less than that since he came back so he could get paid instead of being fined.
Since then, the tango between the team and Simmons and his witless agent Rich Paul has been absurd.
As The Athletic’s Sam Amick documents:
We had plenty of on-court evidence Simmons was struggling with the mental side of his job long before the summer. ESPN’s Tim Legler put it well in a recent segment.
“Everyone saw what happened in the Atlanta series,” said Legler, who played 11 seasons in the NBA. “We had seen moments with Ben Simmons before, where there was clearly something going with his confidence or his lack of aggressiveness, or whatever it may be. … (But) throughout the series — five fourth quarters, he didn’t attempt a field goal in those seven games. But particularly, the closeout game — Game 7.
“We know how he looked. It was real. It’s undeniable. There was something going on with his confidence. Fear of failure had gripped him and prevented him from just being a normal point guard in this league. … I think Ben Simmons knew immediately he couldn’t play in Philly anymore after that.”