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76ers fining Ben Simmons for skipping six-game road trip, per report

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We have another update on the long-running saga between the Philadelphia 76ers and All-Star guard Ben Simmons. The Sixers have fined Simmons for skipping the team’s six-game road trip — which begins on Tuesday night against the Utah Jazzaccording to Shams Charania of The Athletic

Most recently, the two sides have been in dispute over Simmons’ readiness to play. He has told the team that he does not feel mentally ready to come back, and has been seeking help from mental health professionals in conjunction with the players union. The Sixers, however, wanted him to consult with a team-appointed mental health specialist and contended he has not been forthcoming with details of his treatment. Simmons ultimately decided to meet with said specialists after pressure from the organization. 

Simmons’ agent Rich Paul recently criticized the Sixers for how they’ve handled the situation. 

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“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,” Paul said. “Either you help Ben, or come out and say he’s lying. Which one is it?

“In this case, we have to get Ben help and not put finances above mental health,” Paul continued. “As an agent, I understand contractual obligations and I hold myself accountable in this business. But if someone is telling you something, we can no longer turn a blind eye in today’s world.”

In an effort to force a trade, Simmons staged a hold out during the early portion of training camp. As a result, the team withheld the $8.25 million he was due to be paid on Oct. 1 per the terms of his contract, which was front-loaded this year. They then fined him for missing the team’s first two preseason games. 

After that, Simmons reluctantly returned to Philadelphia in what was pretty clearly a financially motivated decision. Once he cleared health and safety protocols, he practiced with the team but was almost immediately kicked out for refusing to participate in a drill. A few days after being sent home from practice is when he told the team he was not in the right place mentally to play.

A clause in the league’s collective bargaining agreement protects players’ salary for failing to render services “if such failure has been caused by the player’s mental disability.” As a result, the team stopped fining Simmons for missing practices and games. But because of the dispute over Simmons’ treatment, the team resumed the monetary penalties on Nov. 5. 

This most recent fine for skipping the road trip shows that the two sides are a long way from any sort of working relationship. Simmons doesn’t want to play for the team, and the Sixers don’t want to trade him for less than they think he’s worth. As such, this stalemate will likely continue for the foreseeable future. 

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College football rankings: Ohio State, TCU have earned spots in final four

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Michigan and Georgia are clear playoff teams. We’ll soon find out who the CFP Selection Committee thinks deserves a spot beside them.



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No. 11 Utah Utes take down the No. 4 USC Trojans for the PAC 12 Championship | Number One CFB Show

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RJ Young reacts to the No. 11 Utah Utes taking down the No. 4 USC Trojans for the PAC 12 Championship.



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Canucks’ Luke Schenn passes Brooks Orpik for most hits by an NHL defenceman

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Luke Schenn of the Vancouver Canucks, after a six-hit night, has been crowned the hit king amongst NHL defencemen, passing Brooks Orpik for most hits since the stat has been recorded.

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Some 2,947 hits later, the journeyman hasn’t stopped doing what he does best and is now able to say he stands at the peak of his craft. He hit the mark in 888 games.

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A couple of days ago Schenn told Sportsnet that he “didn’t really think too much of it,” and that he “doesn’t really care too much about the number,” however as he broke the record, the fans in attendance made sure to let him know how much they cared.

Chants of “LUKE! LUKE!” broke out at Rogers Arena in Vancouver for the new leader in the category.

The 33-year-old has played for seven teams throughout his career and won two Stanley Cups during his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning. On every team he’s been on, he’s done what he does best. Hit.

Five forwards still remain above him on the hits leaderboard: Milan Lucic, Alex Ovechkin, Matt Martin, Dustin Brown, and the recently coronated Cal Clutterbuck sits atop the rankings with 3,647.

It was a celebratory day for the Schenn family, as brother Brayden played in his 800th NHL game across the country as his St. Louis Blues took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. But Brayden still has a ways to go if he wants to catch up to Luke’s physical domination, as the centre only has 1,700 hits to his name.

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