76ers' Harris defends Simmons: 'He's a human first'
Harris asked fans on social media to respect Simmons' privacy following their team meeting Friday, and he continued to defend him after the 76ers' 114-109 loss to the Brooklyn Nets later that night.
"It's easy to look at something on the surface and come to assumptions on a lot of things, especially athletes - in general in this space we're depicted as superhumans, and you're not really supposed to have feelings or go through anything," Harris postgame, according to ESPN's Tim Bontemps.
"So I think we just have to really understand he's a human first, and if he's going through something, at times we have to respect that and go through that as a team, organization, fans, all the way down the line."
"Because when he's in here putting on a show and helping us get wins, everybody is cheering and praising, but we live in a 'What have you done for me lately?' type world, but when that's not the case, it's easy to turn around," Harris said.
"So at this time he needs more support. I just think we have to be there for him as a team, and I relayed that to the group. And I hope that message is loud and clear to the fans and everybody around the organization, and honestly, you guys, as well."
Simmons reportedly informed the 76ers that he isn't mentally ready to play to his expectations. He's apparently set to undergo further evaluations, and medical professionals will determine his next steps.
Philadelphia is continuing to offer Simmons any resources he needs to assist him, sources told Bontemps.