Ben Simmons is still not playing basketball for the Philadelphia 76ers and appears to have no intention of doing so ever again. The latest has the team fining Simmons for not complying with their rules regarding the recovery of his mental health with professionals in the field. Daryl Morey said at the beginning of the season that this process could take years, and it seems like both sides are willing to go that far in order to get what they want.
It is quite a mess, and it was discussed on Inside The NBA last night, where Charles Barkley summed up the situation rather succinctly: the Sixers tried to beg Simmons to come back and it didn't work. Now it's time for their strategy to swing aggressively to the other end of the spectrum and bring down the hammer to force him to return. In short, kick his ass.
The Sixers' ability to actually do that is hampered by Simmons' claims that he is "mentally unfit" to return to basketball. They can't call him out and say he's lying because they would get lambasted in the court of public opinion and especially by the players' union. It is also impossible to prove he is lying because mental health is a tricky thing and nobody really knows what's going on in Simmons' mind except the man himself.
So if the Sixers are to do what Barkley is calling them to do, it will come in the form of fines. They will not fine him for being mentally unfit, but they will fine him for everything they possibly can. It was the hit to the player's wallet that got him to show back up to team facilities after holding out throughout training camp and preseason. If anything will bring Simmons back into the fold, it will be the looming threat of monetary penalty.
Regardless of the course of action, the Simmons-Sixers situation is going to get uglier far before it gets resolved.