The 76ers have suspended All-Star guard Ben Simmons for one game for conduct detrimental to the team, the franchise announced Tuesday. Simmons will miss the team's season opener against the Pelicans on Wednesday as a result of the suspension.
According to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, coach Doc Rivers threw Simmons out of practice, leading to the eventual suspension. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported news of Rivers removing Simmons from practice. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Rivers asked Ben Simmons to join a defensive drill today multiple times but Simmons refused and Rivers told him to "go home."
Since re-joining the team for practice on Sunday, Simmons has routinely ignored 76ers staff and engages more with the team's G-League coaches than his own, per The Athletic. Everyday he has trained by himself and completed just a handful of defensive drills on Sunday and Monday.
He's been the first player to leave practice since Sunday and never played in an offensive scrimmage. Per ESPN, Simmons's reluctance to "physically and mentally engage" with the team since his return has been a consistent theme.
“I thought he was a distraction today. I didn’t think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing," Rivers told reporters on Tuesday.
A video captured Monday at practice appeared to show Simmons distancing himself from his teammates, at least during one juncture.
Earlier this offseason, Philadelphia players wanted to travel to Los Angeles to meet with Simmons, in hopes of getting the All-Star to remain with the team. Simmons told them not to come, saying he would not change his mind about wanting to be traded. (He first made his trade request in August. Both Rivers and Morey have confirmed this.)
He practiced for the first time on Sunday after missing the first two weeks of training camp. Simmons has not yet addressed reporters following his return to the organization.
Simmons has four years and $147 million remaining on his max contract.
He would next be eligible to play on Friday vs. the Nets.