Ben Simmons told JJ Redick why he wanted to leave The Sixers

In an extensive interview with former teammate JJ Riddick The old man and the three Podcast, Ben Simmons explained why he requested a deal from the Sixers before last season.

Simmons said that after collapsing against the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals, he was in a “dark place” mentally.

“I think it was like, you know, I’m really dealing with a lot mentally, just in life, as a lot of people do,” he said. “But it got to a point, after that streak, I get — it’s like, from the people you’re supposed to get support from, or those, you know, that comfort from. And I didn’t understand that either. So it was just too much. It was a burden to me. …and then mentally, you killed me. I was like f-k. Like, no energy for anything. Like, I was in a dark place.”

He added that it was “difficult” for him knowing he “didn’t really have the support from his teammates or anything else at the time”.

“For me, I was trying, by myself, personally, to get to a good place,” he said. “Like, getting back down to earth. So it was never like that… Sitting on the floor was my priority. And trying to get myself into a place where I was mentally good to do that. And I was in a bad place where I was like, I’m trying to get here and you guys are throwing All this other stuff in my face where you don’t help. And that’s all I wanted to help. I didn’t feel like I received it from the coaches and my teammates – I wouldn’t say all my teammates, because there are great people on this team who got in touch with them and are still my friends – but I didn’t I feel like I got that, and it was just a tough place for me.”

On the subject of his rejection, which initially cost him upwards of $20 million – although he later recouped some of that after reaching a settlement with the team – Simmons said he prioritized his mental well-being over his finances.

“People were like, ‘Okay, let’s take his money. And I’m like, “I don’t give information about money.” Like, I don’t care about money. It’s not about money for me right now. Like, I want peace and happiness. Like, I want to be in a good place. And if it costs me whatever the price, That’s what it costs me. Like, my peace is more valuable than money, you know.”

Simmons also spoke about why he was back in the team after his training camp was disrupted and why he was kicked out of training.

“I was at least trying to do the right thing,” he said when asked why Riddick was back. “Like, do right, you know, whatever the team, my teammates, whatever. Whatever. But you’re trying to do the right thing. And I wasn’t in this place to play. Like, I wasn’t. I just couldn’t do it. And I “You know, they kicked me out of that practice that day, I actually spoke to Doc before training. I’m like, Doctor, I’m not ready. Mentally, I’m not ready. Please just understand. You know, I tried to tell him beforehand. And he was saying, “Okay, I’ll put you in anyway.” I’m like, “Okay.” He told me to get in, I was like, I looked at him. It was a minute in practice. “Ben, get in.” And I, first of all, nobody does that. You You do this on purpose. And that’s how I felt too. I was like, so you – it seems everyone is just trying to screw me up now. Like, I got fined, like, for not lifting weights, but physically, I’m like one of the strongest guys on the f-team king. So now they are fining me for small things, and it was just a buildup – obviously I didn’t handle things the right way, but also, the team didn’t do it either.”

If it does as Simmons describes it, it’s not a great look for Rivers and the Sixers. This situation may help pave the way for positive change for players in the future, though.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are “discussing measures to allow players to cite mental health issues as an illness similar to a physical injury” in their ongoing negotiations over the upcoming collective bargaining agreement. “Similar to what happens when players treat external injuries, this new addition will give players the ability to treat their own mental health issues with the same appeal, allowing for things like seeking second opinions and psychiatrist visits.”

Redick also asked Simmons about his immersion that he missed in Game 7 of the Hawks series.

“Right now, I just rolled around and I assume Trae will come in faster,” Simmons said. “So I’m thinking he’s coming in full, and I see Matisse going – you know, Matisse is an athlete, he can get up – so I’m thinking, OK, a quick pass. He has to get rid of it, not knowing how much space there is. It happened. It happened so fast. You just read. And in the playoffs, you need to make the right decisions most of the time. And in that moment, I mean, bro, it just happened and I said, “Okay, f-k, now we have to go play again.” That’s how I think. Then I didn’t realize how, you know, everyone was posting… and I’m like, that was that big?”

He admitted that it “looks terrible” later, though.

When I look at it now, I’m like, “Man, I had to hit that shit.” But that didn’t happen, and I was OK with that. I can live with that. I can live with — everyone is trying to kill me because of one play, like, does everyone want to see the movie with me? Like the whole arena? And I can dissect everything if you want.”

On a lighter note, Simmons and Redick had a very entertaining exchange about whether the operation worked:

Simmons: Looking back now, I think the process was… I mean, people look at it as a process like, the team, Philadelphia win a championship, whatever it is. But I think we were going through the process. Like building a philly. There was a moment when no one wanted to play with Philly. It was like 10 and 72 games. And what we were able to do there was amazing. I feel like we brought a lot of life back to the basketball game in Philly.

Riddick: Well, I think the general premise of the process is that we’ll build through the draft. We will try to craft super players. Historically, you basically need five best players or two top 10-15 players to win the tournament. And you are not guaranteed to win the championship. So if you recruit two of these guys – and let’s be honest, they missed out on a lot of choices. They missed a lot of shots. And if you end up drafting two of these guys, and you become a contender, and you become a place that the free agents want to go to, the guys are trading and they want to re-sign there. And suddenly there’s a culture and an environment where winning is really appreciated and you feel like you’re participating in it every year, and to me that means the process worked. do you agree?

Simmons: Yes I agree.

Riddick: Because I think everyone thinks the process didn’t work because they didn’t win yet.

Simmons: Yes, it is not, you are not guaranteed to win a championship.

Riddick: You just don’t want to be in the middle. You just don’t want to be in the middle. You don’t want to be what the Pacers have been doing for the past 20 years.

The full episode is worth listening to. Kudos to Simmons for being so open.

Unless otherwise noted, all stats via NBA.comAnd the PBPStatsAnd the cleaning the glasses or basketball reference. All salary information via crook or RealGM.

#Ben #Simmons #told #Redick #wanted #leave #Sixers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.