Why did Ben Simmons miss the entire season?

Mental health issues are not uncommon in the NBA. Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan have talked about their battles in the past. Ben Simmons has become an NBA medical mystery because of his inability to play through a mental block.

Simmons should be required to discuss his chaotic personal life, but the whiplash caused by his ever-changing reasons for not playing this season have been hard to take. Simmons backed out of Brooklyn's season finale after a month and a half after his scheduled debut against the Philadelphia 76ers. What is going on with him?

Simmons return date has been constantly changing. Simmons received an epidural shot in his back on March 15 and the March 10 date was moved back to March 18 against Portland. Nash revealed that Simmons had a back injury. He was supposed to return to the Nets before the playoffs. Simmons was expected to play in Game 4 after two weeks without pain.

Ben Simmons is the middle name of Disappointment. Simmons woke up Sunday morning with back pain, which forced the Nets to scrap their plan to advance in the playoffs. Reggie Miller criticized Simmons for his lack of fire and anyone with a pulse.

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Simmons disclosed a connection that would explain the inconsistencies between reports of his mental health and his hobbled back, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul and franchise officials explained a connection between Simmons' recurring back injury and the mental health issues he dealt with all season.

According to sources, Simmons told those in the room that a mental block exists for him, dating in part to last summer's playoffs, which is creating stress that could serve as atrigger point for his back issues. He wants to play basketball and play for the Nets as he works on his well-being.

The Nets players were confused because of the lack of attempt to play and the fact that Simmons did not want to push his body in the playoffs. Nets players and coaches wanted to see Simmons show resolve and enter this series to start his on-court Brooklyn tenure, even if it was for limited minutes on Monday or none at all while still dressing for the game.

Steve Nash was evasive about the availability of Simmons.

Nash said that part of the decision has to be Ben's. That is fair. It isn't all on Ben. He didn't play. He has never played with his teammates and is going into a playoff situation after a long period of injury. There shouldn't be any conclusions made either way.

Simmons was forced to tough it out for a few minutes in an elimination game. Their championship ambitions have gone kaboom. It sounds like a hackneyed storyline from a show that has gone to many seasons and runs out of original ideas.

Simmons' back flared up the first time, however, his mental block became an issue at the beginning of this season, around the time he refused to practice or play with the 76ers. The justification for Philadelphia to stop fining him for missed games was derided as a ploy. The belief has been perpetuated by his grievances against the 76ers.

Simmons has become even more convincing as time goes on. Ben Simmons would be the true heir to The Process if he is faking it. His mysterious back injuries may be costing him in future contract negotiations. Stress is a part of playing high-stakes playoff basketball, which would explain much of Simmons' no-shows. Simmons has been stressed out by criticism since last summer and is suffering from stress-related back injuries.

The Ben Simmons saga has been weird from the beginning.