Ben Simmons’ return to the Philadelphia 76ers hasn’t gone super smoothly. The Sixers suspended Simmons for one game for conduct deferential to the team. As a result of the suspension, Simmons will miss Philadelphia’s season opener against the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday night. Sixers coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice on Tuesday for being disengaged, and the suspension was handed out shortly thereafter.
“I thought he was a distraction today. I didn’t think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing,” Rivers told reporters after practice. “At the end of the day, as a coach, I had to protect the team. The team [comes] first, and then we get to the other part. So today, I thought it was more important to focus on the team.
“There’s no reality. This is sports.”
When asked if Simmons wants to be with the team, Rivers said: “Today, not, obviously — we told him to go home. But hopefully, at some point, yeah.”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers threw Ben Simmons out of practice today and the suspension came shortly thereafter, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021
Ben Simmons practicing in sweatpants with his phone in his pocket. pic.twitter.com/MEdQLxudcK
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) October 18, 2021