Report: Some players believed Simmons faked potential COVID-19 exposure to miss Game 7 vs. Hawks

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The past year of Ben Simmons’ life has been turbulent to say the least, weathering countless controversies (many of his own creation) while losing the trust of both teammates and fans amid a disastrous postseason that saw the All-Star point guard unravel before our eyes. The 25-year-old, now back with the team after staging a brief but nonetheless disruptive holdout at the start of Sixers training camp, has plenty of explaining to do for his playoff collapse including when Simmons, in a moment of sheer panic, inexplicably passed up an open dunk late in Game 7 of Philadelphia’s Eastern Conference semifinals loss to Atlanta. ESPN NBA insider Ramona Shelburne detailed the hours and months leading up to that fateful play—a career low point for the 6’11” Australian—revealing Simmons was “not in a good place” mentally.