NBA: Sixers suspend Ben Simmons for 1 game

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Oct 20 2021 03:43 AM

A 76ers fan on October 7, 2021, wears a t-shirt referencing guard Ben Simmons who had not reported to training camp. Eric Hartline, USA Today Sports/Reuters
A 76ers fan on October 7, 2021, wears a t-shirt referencing guard Ben Simmons who had not reported to training camp. Eric Hartline, USA Today Sports/Reuters

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons was thrown out of practice Tuesday and suspended for one game by the team.

Simmons will miss Philadelphia's season opener at New Orleans on Wednesday.

Simmons was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, per a 76ers statement. Simmons was not engaged during practice and was tossed by coach Doc Rivers, who afterward was asked if Simmons wants to be a part of the team.

"Well today not, obviously. We told him to go home," Rivers said. "But hopefully at some point, yeah, I do."

Rivers said he tossed Simmons from practice for being a distraction.

"At the end of the day as a coach I have to protect the team," Rivers said. "Team first, and then we get to the other part. Today I thought it was more important to focus on the team."

Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid had much stronger words for Simmons.

"At this point I don't care about that man, honestly. He does whatever he wants," Embiid said. "I'm focused on making the team better, win some games, play hard every night, try to lead the guys that we have here. ... Our chemistry has been excellent, despite everything that's been happening the last few months so like I said, I don't really care.

"At the end of the day, our job is not to babysit somebody," Embiid said.

Simmons did not meet with the media and reportedly is no longer conducting interviews.

Simmons practiced Sunday for the first time since reporting to the team on Oct. 11 after an acrimonious offseason that included a trade demand. He missed all four of Philadelphia's preseason contests. Simmons has been a reluctant participant in practice since returning from his holdout, per ESPN. 

Rivers said Sunday the 25-year-old was in "decent shape."

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 percent from the free-throw line.

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