Ben Simmons was suspended by the Philadelphia 76ers for one game due to behavior detrimental to the team. Simmons will miss the 76ers’ season opener Wednesday night in New Orleans.
The guard was a holdout in training camp following his offseason commercial request. He showed up last week and trained on Sunday and Monday with the Sixers. He was due to train and speak to the media on Tuesday, but ESPN reported that Sixers coach Doc Rivers sent him off after refusing to participate in the latter part of the session.
“I just thought he was a distraction today,” coach Doc Rivers said after practice. “I didn’t think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing. It was early. It was not a big deal. I just told him he should go. We continued with the practice.
Simmons lingered outside the caucus, dribbled a basketball, and didn’t appear interested in a team caucus during Monday practice, where he didn’t practice with the first team. Sources told ESPN that Simmons had failed to engage with the team since returning to the Sixers after his resistance.
Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid said Tuesday it wasn’t his job to “keep” Simmons. “At this point, I don’t care about this man,” Embiid said. ” He does what he wants. “
The 25-year-old Australian player was four years old and $ 147 million on his contract when he decided he wanted a trade.
“Every day, every moment, I’m going to give Ben a chance to join the team and be a part of the team,” said Rivers. “He’s under contract to be part of the team and that’s not going to change. Sometimes it happens quickly and the guys join in. Sometimes this is not the case. I’ve been in both situations and that’s fine with me.
The three-time All-Star averaged 14.3 points, 6.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds in 58 games last season. He averaged just 11.9 points in the playoffs while shooting a dismal 34.2% from the free throw line.