After a season without playing, but before the scrutiny of the national basketball media for refusing to play with the 76ers, Ben Simmons is filing a lawsuit against his former team for an unpaid salary of 20 million. dollars.
Simmons cited mental health issues as the reason he was unable to play with the Sixers this season, and the team withheld his $20 million salary, saying he was breached. his contract because he refused to attend training camp, pre-season drills, and regular games during the season and fined him for each infraction.
He has expressed his desire to leave Philadelphia after the 2021 NBA Playoffs round following a fallout with his team, reportedly telling the Sixers’ office last August that he has no intention of playing a game. for their organization again, and the series continues as he declines to participate in pre-season drills and is dropped from some practice sessions and suspended from competition in October. hasn’t competed since – even after being traded to the Brooklyn Nets last month.
The 76ers kept Simmons’ millions of dollars in wages in an escrow account to withdraw the fines he was assigned this season for lack of games and practice. When his grievances go to the umpire, he will have the backing of the National Basketball Players Association and the strength of a line in the current collective bargaining agreement that guarantees players’ wages in cases like his “if that failure is due to the player having a mental disability.”
While no one but Simmons and his doctors were qualified to comment on his mental health, the Sixers took issue with the team doctors’ lack of access to Simmons and the backlash. his initial resistance to them being evaluated and diagnosed, although he eventually agreed. to work with Sixers’ medical professionals.
With the NBA’s CBA expiring in 2024, the way this case plays out could have some major effects on future bargaining regarding mental health clauses and salary protection for physically healthy players. The owners don’t want to have to face a situation like this again, but at the same time, they can’t simply throw mental health out the window as a legitimate excuse for not playing simply because of its invisibility.
Simmons has not yet played a game with his new team in Brooklyn due to an old back injury flaring up, but the current story is that he’s hoping to be physically ready to get back on the court with his teammates by the time playoffs begin two weeks from today.