Ben Simmons spoke to the media for the first time since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, and addressed people who might be skeptical about his mental health, according to NBA reporter Marc J. Spears.
“They should be happy I’m smiling. I’ve had some dark times over the last six months,” he said, per Spears.
While Simmons didn’t point to any specific examples, Howard Eskin of Sportsradio WIP in Philadelphia called him out on Twitter after video emerged of Simmons engaging with new teammate Kevin Durant.
“So much for Ben Simmons mental illness,” he tweeted. “Amazing how that was just fine once he got traded. Insulting to those that really suffer.”
During Monday’s press conference, Simmons also reflected on what transpired with the Philadelphia 76ers, saying he needed to get back to “being happy as a person.”
It appears that he’s looking forward to his future with the Nets. “It’s a blessing to be in an organization like this,” he added.
Simmons has been wanting to be traded for some time and he finally got his wish, following a tough season that saw his former team lose to the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. He was eventually kicked out of practice and suspended for one game before this season began, and never played another game for the 76ers again.