Report: Ben Simmons Reportedly Files Grievance To Retain $20 Million In Salary Lost In Standoff With 76ers

NBA: Utah Jazz at Brooklyn Nets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons and the 76ers have had a rollercoaster of a finish to the relationship after Philadelphia drafted Simmons first overall in 2016.

A multitude of issues have come to the forefront, and now Simmons has reportedly filed a grievance against the 76ers.

The reported grievance is to reclaim $20 million in compensation that the Sixers withheld from him during his extended standoff with the teams front office.

By February 1, the Sixers penalized Simmons for nearly $19 million, according to Shelburne. He had been penalized for missing training camp and a preseason game, but the organization no longer suspended his money after he allegedly informed them he didn’t feel “mentally ready” to play for the team.

The 76ers and Simmons were at odds over the level of access given to Simmons by the team and its physicians in order to assess and confirm his mental health, according to ESPN.

Simmons then reportedly refused to provide the Sixers with updates on his mental health therapy, and the organization ultimately resumed fining him. 

The grievance will now proceed to arbitration, and might have broader league ramifications in the future, especially as it relates to mental health concerns and NBA contracts, according to ESPN.

ESPN sources said that the filing was made with the 76ers, NBA and NBPA late last week.

Nets Coach Steve Nash stated Monday that Simmons will miss the rest of the regular season and the Play-In Tournament. Since joining the team in February, Simmons has been dealing with a back injury and this is the result of those struggles.

He underwent an epidural in mid-March in the hopes of alleviating his back discomfort and some of the aggravation he’d been experiencing as a result of the injury, according to the NBA.

Simmons was attached the blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers on February 10th. “For me the mental health has nothing to do with the trade,” Simmons said in his first media appearance as a Net in February.

“It was a bunch of things that I was dealing with as a person in my personal life that I don’t really want to go into depth about. But I’m here now,” Simmons stated.

After the Sixers’ Game 7 defeat to the Hawks last season, Simmons believed that coach Doc Rivers and teammate Joel Embiid didn’t offer him enough public support. That feeling caused a further gap between the point guard and the club.

“It was just piled up. A bunch things over the years to where I just knew I wasn’t myself and I needed to get back into the place of being myself and being happy as a person,” Simmons told the press in February.

“It wasn’t about the basketball, it wasn’t about the money, anything like that. You know I wanna be who I am and playing basketball at that level and being myself.”

When Simmons was asked about what he would say to people that questioned him, he answered, “They should be happy I’m smiling honestly. I’ve had some dark times these last six months and I’m just happy to be in this situation with this team and organization. People gonna say what they want. They’ve said in the last six months and I haven’t commented. It is what it is, people are always gonna have their own opinions.”