"Either Help Ben, Or Come Out And Say He's Lying!": Simmons' Agent Calls Out Sixers

Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, agent for Ben Simmons, have been eerily quiet for a few weeks now, but that ended with a bang Thursday night. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Rich Paul says the Philadelphia 76ers tactics are making Simmons' "mental unreadiness" issues even worse.

“I truly believe the fines, the targeting, the negative publicity shined on the issue — that’s very unnecessary and has furthered the mental health issues for Ben," said Paul. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?” 

He says the team "wants to deem him fit to force him to play, regardless of what he tells the team’s mental health therapist," wrote Charania.

The Sixers, for their part, vehemently deny the charges, saying their position is that "Simmons should partake in all team activities until there is information from its mental health professional or Simmons that would preclude him from playing". 

It's hard to know exactly where the Simmons camp is going with this, especially after Paul seemed to take a hard turn on his strategy: This is no longer about a trade. This is about finding a place where we can help Ben get back to his mental strength and get back on the floor. I want him on the floor playing the game that he loves. I want Ben on the floor whether that’s in a 76ers uniform or any other uniform, that’s not up to me, but I want him in a state where he can resume play."

ESPN's Kendrick Perkins says "Ben Simmons' plan is backfiring on him."

The game of poker continues, and we're all waiting to see who makes the next move. 

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports