Ben Simmons

Rivers Kicks Simmons Out of Practice, 76ers Suspend Him, Embiid Sounds Off

Ben Simmons was expected to talk about his return to the Philadelphia 76ers after practice Tuesday, but was kicked out of practice before that could happen

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons takes part in a practice
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

What to Know

  • Ben Simmons has been suspended by the Philadelphia 76ers for one game due to what they called conduct detrimental to the team. Simmons will miss the 76ers’ season opener Wednesday night at New Orleans.
  • Sixers coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday after practice that he asked Simmons to leave because he was being a distraction. 
  • The three-time All-Star guard was a holdout in training camp in the wake of his offseason trade demand.

Ben Simmons has been suspended by the Philadelphia 76ers for the season opener Wednesday night at New Orleans due to conduct detrimental to the team after he was thrown out of practice Tuesday. Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid tore into Simmons afterwards and coach Doc Rivers called Simmons "a distraction."

“I just thought he was a distraction today,” Rivers said Tuesday after practice. “I didn't think he wanted to do what everybody else was doing. It was early. It wasn't a big deal. I just told him he should leave. We went on with practice.”

Simmons was kicked out of Tuesday’s practice for not being engaged, The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Simmons "declined several times to sub into a drill."

Rivers, who had called Simmons a "full participant" in the team's prior two practices, did not specify why he removed Simmons. He framed the situation as a day-to-day matter, noting the Sixers would expect Simmons at practice Thursday. The team's home opener is Friday night against the Nets. 

“I don’t know," Rivers said of whether this would be a lingering issue. “Every day, every single moment, I’m going to give Ben a chance to join the team and be part of the team. He’s under contract to be part of the team, and so that’s not going to change. Sometimes it happens quick and guys join back in. Sometimes it doesn’t."

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Rivers said, ultimately, his job is to protect the team first: "There's no reality. This is sports."

Simmons was set to speak during the Sixers’ post-practice media availability Tuesday, a team official had said Monday. He would no longer address the media, a team official said.

Embiid did speak Tuesday and said he wasn't here to “babysit” Simmons.

“At this point I don’t care about that man, honestly, he does whatever he wants,” Embiid said after Simmons was kicked out.

Embiid said he hasn't spoken with Simmons.

Embiid said what Simmons does isn't his problem. He said his focus is having fun with the teammates who want to be with the team and "work hard."

Here is the full audio from Embiid care of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Simmons, a three-time All-Star guard, was a holdout in training camp in the wake of his offseason trade demand. He reported last week and practiced Sunday and Monday with the Sixers.

Simmons lingered outside the huddle, dribbled a basketball and looked uninterested during a team huddle at Monday's practice, where he did not practice with the first team.

The 25-year-old from Australia had four years and $147 million left on his max contract when he decided he wanted a trade.

Without Simmons, Tyrese Maxey figures to be the Sixers' lead ball handler.

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