Ben Simmons Talks About Mental Health, Says He Was in 'Bad Place' During Time with Philadelphia 76ers

·3 min read
Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers
Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons is opening up about his controversial time on the Philadelphia 76ers.

The NBA star, who is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, spoke with his former 76ers teammate JJ Redick about how he felt his mental health was in "such a bad place" toward the end of his five seasons with the franchise.

"I was in such a bad place where I was like, f---, I'm trying to get here and you guys are, like, throwing all these other things at me to where you're not helping," Simmons told Redick on The Old Man and the Three podcast. "And that's all I wanted, was help."

"I didn't feel like I got it from coaches, teammates — I won't say all teammates, because there's great guys on that team that did reach out and are still my friends — but I didn't feel like I got that, and it was just a tough place for me."

In February, the 76ers traded Simmons to the Nets in exchange for James Harden. He has not appeared in a game since the 76ers' Eastern Conference semifinal Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

RELATED: Jamie Foxx Calls Stephen A. Smith's Harsh Criticism of Ben Simmons 'Completely Unfair'

Simmons said that after experiencing mental health concerns, he was kicked out of practice by coach Doc Rivers, who called him a "distraction," and suspended from the team.

"I actually spoke to Doc before practice. I was like, 'Doc, I'm not ready. Mentally, I'm not ready. Please just understand that,' " Simmons said. "I tried to let him know prior, and he was like, 'Well, I'm going to put you in anyway.' I'm like, 'All right.' He told me to get in. I looked at him. It was like one minute into practice, like, 'Ben, get in.'

"I'm like, first of all, no one's doing that. You're doing this on purpose. And that's how I felt, too. It seems like everyone's trying to f--- with me now. I'm getting fined for not lifting weights, but physically I'm one of the strongest guys on the f---ing team. So now they're fining me for little things. It was just a buildup. Obviously, I didn't handle things the right way, but, also, the team didn't either, and the people who had that power."

The 76ers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

RELATED: Sixers Star Ben Simmons Surprises Brother with Brand New Car in Emotional Viral Video

ben simmons
ben simmons

lenn James/NBAE via Getty Images Ben Simmons

Simmons famously became the target of ridicule during his final seasons with the 76ers, largely due to fans criticizing his shot selection. The criticism peaked during the playoff series with the Hawks after Simmons passed the ball while under the basket instead of going for a layup or dunk.

He addressed the moment with Redick, saying he read his teammate's position wrong when he passed the ball.

"When I look at [the play] now, I should have just punched that s--t!" he said. "But, it didn't happen, and I was okay with that. I can live with that. [But] everyone's trying to kill me over one play."

RELATED VIDEO: LeBron James Goes Viral for His Dance Moves at Kendrick Lamar Concert: 'SPECIAL Show by a SPECIAL Person'

With the 2022-2023 NBA season set to begin, Simmons said he is excited to return to the court with his new team.

"I'm just looking forward to it. I think we have a special team," he told the podcast. "I think if we get it all together, we're going to be the champions. That's the end goal."