NBA commissioner Adam Silver shows compassion for Ben Simmons and his mental health status

CLEVELAND — Ben Simmons got his wish when the 76ers traded him to the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 10. Yet his decision not to play for the Sixers until he was moved despite being in the second year of a $177 million contract extension remains a hot topic .

League owners privately voiced displeasure over a standout player choosing to remain sidelined with multiple seasons left on his deal. But Simmons said he was mentally unable to play for the Sixers.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed the situation on Saturday at All-Star Weekend.

“Stepping back and putting aside [the] individual disputes [this situation is] a reminder that these are human beings in some of the most stressful jobs out there,” Silver said. “I don’t want to compare them to people putting their lives on the line and things like that. It’s a whole different level of stress, but in terms of the social-media bubble they live in, the coverage that all of you provide and that we’re thankful for, people react to it in different ways, and it can be incredibly intense on them.

“We have to adjust in the way society is to understanding how social media can impact people, how the media coverage affects them.”

Simmons has turned into public enemy no. 1 in Philadelphia following his struggles in June’s second-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Fans have burned their Simmons No. 25 jerseys. The Philly and national media continue to mock his poor shooting.

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The point guard also felt Sixers five-time All-Star Joel Embiid and coach Doc Rivers threw him under the bus following the decisive Game 7 loss on June 20.

The Sixers traded Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round picks to the Nets for James Harden and Paul Millsap.

The Sixers will entertain Brooklyn at the Wells Fargo Center on March 10.

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