Ben Simmons suspended by Philadelphia 76ers, sent home after practice for ‘conduct detrimental to the team’
Australian NBA star Ben Simmons has been suspended by the Philadelphia 76ers for a game “conduct detrimental to the team”.
- Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers said he still wants Simmons on the team
- His teammate Joel Embiid said Simmons “does what he wants”
- Simmons was suspended for one game by the team and will miss his NBA season opener
It’s the latest incident in the now acrimonious relationship between the player and the franchise, with ESPN reporting that Simmons was kicked out of a practice session by head coach Doc Rivers.
Three-time All-Star Simmons did not join the team for the start of preseason training after requesting an offseason trade, but returned late to Philadelphia last week and practiced Sunday and Monday .
Simmons appeared disinterested in the footage from that first session, dribbling a basketball alone and not engaging during a team huddle.
Rivers admitted that Simmons did not train to the required standard, but tried to play down this latest incident.
“I thought he was a distraction today,” Rivers said.
“I didn’t think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing.
“It was early, no big deal and I just told him he should leave then.”
Rivers said he still wants Simmons to be an active member of the roster, despite off-season issues and some disappointing playoff performances last season.
“That’s not going to change. Sometimes it happens quickly and guys join in and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Rivers said he expected Simmons to be back in practice with the team on Thursday.
“Not Here to Babysit”: Embiid
Simmons’ star teammate Joel Embiid made his frustrations with Simmons known when he confronted the media after practice.
“I focus on improving the team.”
“At the end of the day, our job is not to keep someone.
“We get paid to go out, play hard, win games, we don’t get paid to come here and try to keep someone, that’s not our job.”
The 25-year-old Australian had four years and $147m ($196.5m) remaining on his maximum contract when he decided he wanted a trade.
He will now miss the 76ers’ season opener Wednesday night (local time) in New Orleans.
‘It’s something you never like to see as a league’: Silver
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said while there’s been a lot of fuss around the situation involving Simmons and the Sixers, star players who don’t want to participate when they want to leave a franchise aren’t new to the league.
“There are legendary players over many decades who have held contracts, didn’t go to the team that drafted them, held out of [attending] training camp, etc. “Silver told ESPN.
“I don’t really see it as the kind of modern problem that a lot of people are describing.
“On the other hand, it’s something you never like to see as a league.
“For Ben, I think what people are suggesting is that at the start of his contract it’s very unusual to hold on like he does, but both parties have rights.
“Because of his resistance, he’s a combination of not getting paid and being fined on top of that, so it’s an unfortunate situation.
“Obviously there’s a reason we have contracts in this league, if everyone just complied with handshakes you wouldn’t need those documents.”