Ben Simmons is back in Philadelphia, but he doesn’t seem too happy about it.
The 76ers announced Tuesday that Simmons, who ended his holdout last week with a surprise return to the Wells Fargo Center, has been suspended for one game because of “conduct detrimental to the team” and will not play in Philadelphia’s regular-season opener against New Orleans. Sixers coach Doc Rivers described Simmons as a “distraction” at Tuesday’s practice.
Doc Rivers says he felt like Ben Simmons was a distraction today: “I didn’t think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing.”
Rivers says he is going to give Simmons every chance to join the team, but he has to protect the team.
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) October 19, 2021
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What led to Simmons’ suspension? Here is everything we know about the latest drama between the 76ers and their three-time All-Star.
Why did the 76ers suspend Ben Simmons?
Rivers kicked Simmons out of practice because of a “refusal to participate in the next stage of the session,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who noted that Simmons has not been consistently engaged since his return to the team. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Rivers asked Simmons to join a defensive drill multiple times, but Simmons refused to participate.
Even before he rejoined the team for practices, Simmons had been “going through the motions” during individual workouts, according to Philly Voice’s Kyle Neubeck.
How long is Ben Simmons out?
Here is Philadelphia’s official statement on Simmons’ suspension:
“Ben Simmons has been suspended for one game due to conduct detrimental to the team. As a result, Simmons will miss the 76ers’ opener at New Orleans tomorrow night.”
When asked if he expects the Simmons situation to be a lingering issue, Rivers told reporters that he will give Simmons a chance “every single day” to be part of the team.
How did the 76ers react to Ben Simmons’ behavior?
“At the end of the day, as a coach, I have to protect the team. The team’s first, and then we get to the other part. So, today, I just thought it was more important to focus on the team.”
“At this point, I don’t care about that man, honestly. He does whatever he wants. That’s not my job. That’s those guys’ jobs. I’m only focused on trying to make the team better, win some games, play hard every night, trying to lead the guys that we have here. And I’m sure they feel the same way because our chemistry has been excellent despite everything that’s been happening the last few months. So, yeah, like I said, I don’t really care.”
“At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody. We’re here. We get paid to produce on the court, go out, play hard, win some games. That’s all we get paid for. We don’t get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody. That’s not our job, and I’m sure my teammates feel that way.”
76ers schedule 2021-22
Here are the 76ers’ first 10 games of the 2021-22 regular season:
|Date||Opponent||Time (ET)||National TV|
|Oct. 20||at Pelicans||8 p.m.||—|
|Oct. 22||vs. Nets||7:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|Oct. 24||at Thunder||7 p.m.||—|
|Oct. 26||at Knicks||7:30 p.m.||TNT|
|Oct. 28||vs. Pistons||7 p.m.||NBA TV|
|Oct. 30||vs. Hawks||7:30 p.m.||NBA TV|
|Nov. 1||vs. Trail Blazers||7 p.m.||—|
|Nov. 3||vs. Bulls||7 p.m.||—|
|Nov. 4||at Pistons||7 p.m.||—|
|Nov. 6||at Bulls||8 p.m.||—|