February 1, 2023

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Ben Simmons addresses troubled 76ers for the first time, says he hopes to play in Philadelphia in March

Ben Simmons addresses troubled 76ers for the first time, says he hopes to play in Philadelphia in March

The biggest news that happened on the NBA trading deadline last week was that deal Send Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets And James Harden to me Philadelphia 76ers. This move gave the two disaffected stars a fresh start. Harden is not expected to make his Sixers debut until after the All-Star break As he continues to grapple with a hamstring injury, and on Tuesday morning during an introductory press conference, Simmons said there was no set date yet on his debut. Networks.

“I don’t have a date yet, but I’m working towards getting back down to earth,” said Simmons, who has not spoken publicly since the 76ers were knocked out last June. “No date yet, but I’m starting to ramp it up.”

Although there’s no timeline for Simmons’ return, he said he’s hopeful he’ll be on the ground when he hits the net on the road against the Sixers on March 10 — a game that has Philly fans on their calendar.

Simmons also touched on his exit from Philadelphia, though he didn’t go into much detail about the situation. Prior to the start of the season, it was widely reported that Simmons wanted to quit the Sixers organization after a disappointing second-round playoff exit as Simmons’ performance was widely criticized. Comments made by Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers, as well as his former teammate Joel Embiid It was seen as a stealth hit aimed at Simmons, and the All-Star goalkeeper reportedly had trouble with how he suffered the team’s loss.

However, Simmons said Tuesday morning that none of that was the reason he asked for a trade from the team.

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“It wasn’t about the fans or the coaches or the comments anyone made, it was just a personal thing to me,” Simmons said. “That was before that [playoff] Or even that season I was dealing with, and that organization knew that. So it’s something I’m still dealing with, and I’m getting there and getting to the right place to get back on Earth. “

When asked again to provide more details about what led to his decision to ask for a deal, Simmons remained vague, but reiterated that it wasn’t just one thing, and that he had been building for several years.

“I really don’t think it was. [one thing]I’ve accumulated a bunch of things that have passed over the years to where I knew I wasn’t me, Simmons said. “The person and taking care of my health. That was the main thing for me. It wasn’t about basketball. It wasn’t about money, anything like that. I want to be who I am and to get back to playing basketball at that level and to be myself.” “.

Simmons’ mental health has been cited as a reason he hasn’t played for the Sixers this season, something he admitted Tuesday morning. The All-Star goalkeeper also said he felt Philadelphia wasn’t the right situation where he could return to where he feels like himself. Although his mental health was an all-encompassing topic in his time away from the game, Simmons said that wasn’t the reason he asked for the trade.

“Mental health has nothing to do with just commerce,” Simmons said. “It’s been a bunch of things that I’ve been dealing with as a person in my personal life that I don’t really want to delve into. But I’m here now, so it’s good to be in an organization like this, and I’m just looking forward to getting back down to earth and building something great here.”

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Regarding some of the people who said Simmons was faking his mental health issues, he talked about how difficult the past six months have been for him, and noted that there has to be a change in how athletes and mental health are treated.

“I’ve been through some tough times over the past six months, and I’m thrilled to be in that position with this team and organization,” Simmons said. “People will say whatever they want, they’ve said it for the last six months and I haven’t commented. I don’t think people really understand — I don’t see it as pressure. There’s just a lot of things going on inside of you, basketball and life as people but that’s what it is.” I also understand work, and I understand all of that. But [mental health] It is something that must be recognized and addressed. if [people] I feel like they need help in areas where it’s okay to do that.”